MIAMI (Reuters) - Health authorities in Miami, one of Florida’s top tourist attractions, have reported the first case of dengue fever in 50 years, an official said on Friday.
The person diagnosed with the sometimes deadly mosquito-born virus has fully recovered after a brief hospitalization, said Liliana Rivera, a director at the Miami-Dade County Health Department.
The case comes four months after officials announced more than 1,000 people in Key West, Florida, were believed to have been infected with dengue last year, marking its reemergence in the southeast U.S. state for the first time in decades.
The strands in Key West and Miami are not the same, Rivera said, meaning it did not appear to signal the infection was moving north into the United States.
The virus can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches and muscle and joint pains. It can also take on a hemorrhagic form, causing sudden death through internal bleeding and bleeding from body orifices.
Florida public health authorities have been on alert after a dengue epidemic took hold in the Caribbean and parts of Latin America earlier this year.
Dengue is the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes, infecting 50 million to 100 million people every year and killing 25,000 of them. It was largely eradicated in the United States in the 1940s but a few locally acquired cases have appeared, mostly along the Texas-Mexico border.
Writing by Kevin Gray; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Eric Walsh