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Puerto Ricans Warned About Lethal Dengue Fever

Puerto Rico’s health secretary urged residents Sunday to take precautions to guard against an outbreak of a potentially lethal type of dengue fever.

An elderly San Juan man has been diagnosed with a strain of dengue last detected in Puerto Rico in the 1970s, Carmen Feliciano said in a statement.

The strain is particularly dangerous for residents who have been infected previously with another type of dengue, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes.

While initial infection with dengue is not life-threatening, reinfection with a different strain can lead to severe hemorrhagic fever and death, according to virologists.

Feliciano urged residents to protect themselves against mosquitoes, which can spread the disease, and to cover any sources of water near their houses where the insects are likely to breed.