Parasitic Screwworm Found On Stray Dog In Homestead

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HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami/AP) — A parasitic infestation that has plagued the Florida Keys has spread to the mainland.

State agriculture officials announced Monday that screwworm, which eats the flesh of living animals, had been found in a stray dog in Homestead.

In a statement Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the infection in Homestead was limited to the stray dog, and there was no cause for alarm. The animal has been treated, and officials say it is in good health.

Gimenez said he’ll devote “whatever resources are necessary” to protect pets and livestock on Florida’s mainland from screwworm.

Since October, officials have been trying to keep the infestation from spreading beyond the island chain.

Gimenez urged residents and visitors to visit a veterinarian if their animals show signs of illness, particularly if they have open wounds.

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