NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. health officials on Tuesday warned doctors to be alert for dengue cases.

Officials say the tropical disease is breaking international records.

The virus, which is spread by a type of warm weather mosquito, has been surging worldwide. In just six months, countries in the Americas have already broken calendar-year records for cases.

The World Health Organization declared an emergency in December, and Puerto Rico declared a public health emergency in March.

Dengues common in the continental United States, but in the 50 states so far this year there have been three times more cases than at the same point last year.

Most were infections that travelers got abroad, and officials note there is no evidence of a current outbreak. But they also warn that local mosquitos pose a threat.

In its health alert Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised doctors to know the symptoms, ask questions about where patients recently traveled and consider ordering dengue tests when appropriate.

Many infected people don’t get sick, but some experience headache, fever and flu-like symptoms. Severe cases can involve cause serious bleeding, shock and death.

Repeated infections can be especially dangerous.

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