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Puerto Rico sees sharp spike in dengue cases

July 4, 2012
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—The number of detected dengue cases is running at above-average levels as Puerto Rico enters the peak season for the painful disease.

The territory's Health Secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez says 111 cases were reported the first week of June and 117 cases the previous week. Eight cases of the more-severe hemorrhagic form have been confirmed, though no one has died.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control report shows new infections running at a pace that has marked past epidemics. Dengue cases usually peak in early October.

Gonzalez said late Tuesday that detected cases may be rising because of new courses to help doctors identify symptoms.

The mosquito-borne virus causes fever, severe headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.

Dengue claimed a record 31 lives in Puerto Rico during a 2010 epidemic.

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