3 contract dengue fever in central Florida

11:55 AM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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STUART, Florida (AP) - Health officials say they've confirmed three cases of dengue fever contracted in central Florida.

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Millions of cases are reported worldwide each year, but it's rare for anyone to contract it in the United States.

The Florida Department of Health says the three patients are residents of Martin and St. Lucie counties. Officials say the patients acquired dengue from mosquitoes in Rio, near Jensen Beach. None have traveled internationally recently.

Officials say St. Lucie County hasn't had any cases of locally acquired dengue until now. There was one case in Martin County in 2011.

Dengue is sometimes called "break bone fever" because of the severe joint pain it causes in extreme cases. Other symptoms include high fever, severe headache and a rash.

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