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Dengue Fever Cases in Florida Confirmed

Well, better start stockpiling cans of OFF! The Florida Department of Health has confirmed three cases of dengue fever contracted in Florida.

Dengue fever, which rarely ever hits the U.S., is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that causes fever, headache, muscle pain and a measles-like rash on the body.

It's also called "break bone fever" because of the severe joint pain it can sometimes cause.

Sounds delightful!

So far, health officials say they've confirmed three patients in Martin County and St. Lucie County. They also say the patients got dengue from mosquitoes in Rio, which is near Jensen Beach. None of the three patients had been out of the country recently.

Dengue Fever, which in some rare cases can be deadly, is typically carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Both types of the blood suckers are found in large numbers in Martin and St. Lucie, according to health officials.

In fact, Martin County had a reported case of dengue back in the summer of 2011. This is the first case reported in St. Lucie.

The symptoms of dengue are sudden-onset fever, headache usually located behind the eyes (fun!), and muscle and joint pains, followed by a rash.

Treatments usually include either oral or intravenous rehydration. Some harsher cases might require intravenous fluids, while more severe cases require blood transfusion.

There is no vaccine as of yet, but health officials have been battling with a global dengue epidemic since World War II.

Officials are asking residents to use caution by avoiding standing water, and puddles from rain and to wear plenty of repellent.

Basically, if you live in those areas, just wash yourself in DEET. Or, stay inside.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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