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Health officials confirm dengue fever case in Florida Keys

Dengue, like other flavivirus illnesses, are part of the same family as yellow fever, West Nile, Zika and chikungunya. They are all spread by mosquitoes.
Dengue, like other flavivirus illnesses, are part of the same family as yellow fever, West Nile, Zika and chikungunya. They are all spread by mosquitoes. (USDA via CNN)

KEY WEST, Fla. – A case of dengue fever has been confirmed in the Florida Keys, health officials said.

The patient has not been identified publicly by name or exact location, according to Alison Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County.

“All indications are that this infection was locally acquired,” Kerr told the Miami Herald.

The patient has been treated and is expected to fully recover, she said.

There were 47 cases of dengue fever in Key West during a 2009 outbreak, followed by 65 cases the next year.

Symptoms of dengue includes severe muscle aches and pain, fever and a rash. They typically appear within 10 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

The virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carried the virus for yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya.

Health officials are urging people to take precautions to limit exposure to mosquitoes. This includes using window screens and air conditioning as well as emptying containers that are filled with water.

“The health department in Monroe and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District are working closely to continue surveillance and prevention efforts. Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is assisting with the investigation and has intensified its mosquito control activities,” Kerr said in a statement.