Published: Sep 27, 2012 4:05 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - South Florida health officials say they've confirmed the state's first case of dengue fever this year in a 7-year-old girl.
    
The Miami-Dade County Health Department said Thursday that the girl had not been traveling and contracted the flulike illness in Florida. She has recovered.
    
Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a species common in the southeastern U.S. and the tropics. It's sometimes called "breakbone fever" because of the severe joint pain it can cause in extreme cases.
    
Dengue fever was once thought eradicated in the U.S. No cases were reported in Florida for more than half a century until a small number of people were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.
    
Health officials say residents can protect themselves by reducing their exposure to mosquitos.

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