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‘Extremely rare’ case of dengue virus found in California

The first locally acquired case of dengue virus — often referred to as “break-bone fever” — was contracted by a resident in Pasadena, California, public health officials said Friday.

This is the first locally acquired case of dengue virus in California that is not associated with travel, according to Manuel Carmona, the city of Pasadena’s acting director of Public Health. 

It is “instead an extremely rare case of local transmission in the continental United States,” and is spread by infected mosquito bites, Carmona said.

“The Pasadena Public Health Department is conducting surveillance, and field teams have visited a Pasadena neighborhood to offer information for preventing mosquito breeding around their homes and preventing bites,” he said.

While the virus is rare in the U.S., about half of the world’s population is at risk of dengue, according to the WHO, particularly people living in tropical and subtropical climates. 

Virtually every case in the U.S. has been found in travelers. Last year, there were 67 cases of locally acquired dengue virus: two were in Arizona, and 65 in Florida, according to CDC statistics.

Chris Eberhart is a crime and US news reporter for Fox News Digital. Email tips to chris.eberhart@fox.com or on Twitter @ChrisEberhart48.

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