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Jul 6, 2010 8:26 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever spreading in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's health secretary warns the island could face its worst outbreak of dengue fever ever unless people eradicate bug breeding areas.

Health officials say three people have already died from the hemorrhagic form of the virus so far this year. Unless action is taken now, they warn, there could be a catastrophe in August and September.

Besides attacking mosquito breeding areas, officials are urging people to sleep under mosquito nets and wear repellent. Trucks are spraying a mosquito-killing mist.

Residents are urged to report neighbors who leave stagnant water on their property.

Puerto Rico's worst dengue outbreak was in 1998, when 19 people died and 17,000 were sickened.

There is no vaccine.

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