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Blood Samples Collected After TC Dengue Fever Outbreak

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The body of a female mosquito fills up and balloons as she sucks blood from a photographer's hand at Everglades National Park August 12, 2002 in Flamingo, Florida. The female bugs use the blood protein to feed their eggs then lays the eggs in water. The itch from the bite is caused by the human body's immune system responding to the mosquito's saliva.  (Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images)

The body of a female mosquito fills up and balloons as she sucks blood from a photographer’s hand at Everglades National Park August 12, 2002 in Flamingo, Florida. The female bugs use the blood protein to feed their eggs then lays the eggs in water. The itch from the bite is caused by the human body’s immune system responding to the mosquito’s saliva. (Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images)

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Healthwatch

STUART (CBSMiami/AP) — Blood samples are being collected from 300 people on Florida’s Treasure Coast by public health workers after 18 cases of mosquito-borne illness were confirmed.

Starting Friday, blood samples will be collected from Rio and Jensen Beach neighborhoods where the outbreak appears to be concentrated.

Randomly selected participants will be asked if they’ve recently suffered symptoms of dengue fever.

They’ll also be asked about their recent travel and about activities that might expose them to mosquitoes.

Health officials say all the confirmed cases were exposed to dengue in those neighborhoods. None of the patients had recently traveled internationally.

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.

It’s uncommon in the U.S.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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