HEALTH

Miami Confirms Case of Dengue Fever

This 2006 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Scientists have made a promising advance for controlling dengue fever, a tropical disease spread by mosquito bites. They've rapidly replaced mosquitoes in the wild with skeeters that don't spread the dengue virus. The report is to be released in the Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 issue of the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James Gathany)

This 2006 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Scientists have made a promising advance for controlling dengue fever, a tropical disease spread by mosquito bites. They've rapidly replaced mosquitoes in the wild with skeeters that don't spread the dengue virus. The report is to be released in the Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 issue of the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James Gathany)  (AP)

Miami-Dade County confirmed a case of dengue fever, health officials say.

The county's health department says it's the first locally acquired case of the flu-like illness that's sometimes called "breakbone fever" because of the severe joint pain it can cause.

Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a common mosquito in the southeastern U.S. and the tropics.

In 2010, Miami-Dade County health officials confirmed a case of dengue fever, but it wasn't known where the man had picked up the disease. Officials at the time said there had not been a case of locally acquired dengue fever in Miami-Dade County since the 1950s.

Dengue fever was once thought eradicated in the U.S. But began making a comeback after a small number of patients in Florida were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

Dengue has no vaccine. It generally causes fever, headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain. Most sufferers recover within a week. The more severe hemorrhagic form can be deadly.

Dengue gained strength in Latin America in the early 1980s, in part because of tourism and migration.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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