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4 new Dengue fever cases in Florida Keys, officials say

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KEY LARGO, Fla. – Four cases of Dengue fever have recently been confirmed in the Florida Keys, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to 26, health officials said.

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County said in a statement on Monday that indications are the mosquito-borne infections were acquired locally. The four people have received medical treatment and are expected to make full recoveries.

Most of the Dengue fever cases are in a two-mile (3,218-meter) area of Key Largo, the Miami Herald reported. It is the first Dengue outbreak the area has seen in a decade.

In the summer and fall of 2009,. 22 people were confirmed as having Dengue in Key West after a 70-year absence of the illness, the newspaper reported.

In 2010, 66 cases of locally acquired Dengue fever in Florida were associated with Key West, health officials said.

Dengue fever often presents flu-like symptoms with severe muscle aches and pain, fever and a rash. The illness is rarely fatal, officials said.

The illness is transmitted by the bite of an infected aedes aegypti mosquito. Health officials said this is the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which has symptoms similar to Dengue.