mosquito-borne illness

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Health officials say a mosquito-borne illness that had afflicted Floridians who traveled to the Caribbean has now been transmitted within the state.

The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported the first locally acquired cases of Chikungunya. A 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County and a 50-year-old man in Palm Beach County are out of the hospital and recovering from the illness, which is serious but rarely fatal.

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Health officials say a 50-year-old Miami-Dade County woman is the state's first case of locally acquired dengue fever so far this year.

The Florida Department of Health's administrator in Miami-Dade County said Wednesday that the woman has fully recovered.

The dengue fever virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Its symptoms include high fevers and severe muscle and joint pain. There's no specific medication or vaccine.

Dengue fever is widespread in other parts of the world, but local officials hope to contain it whenever it appears in the U.S.

As chikungunya fever sweeps through Haiti, forcing school, workplace and even  hospital closures because so many people are sick, public health officials say Florida needs to be on the lookout.
Dr. Vincent DeGennaro Jr., director of internal medicine at a hospital in Port-au-Prince, said half his staff  has already had the virus and he expects to get it too," the Miami Herald reports. "It's unbelievable how it's spreading," he said.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

JENSEN BEACH, FLA. — State health officials have lifted a dengue fever advisory in Martin County. 

No new cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been reported in the Rio-Jensen Beach area since September. Health officials lifted the advisory on Tuesday.

Over a five-month period, 22 people in the area developed the signs of the illness, which include high fever and aching bones.

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