County health officials say a rare strain of meningitis killed four in 12 cases treated over the past six months.
Dr. Fermin Leguen said Wednesday he wants to inform the public to avoid more deaths or an outbreak. The contagious disease is curable with antibiotics but can be lethal if not treated quickly.
Symptoms include a high fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Tourist Jade Thomas, visiting South Beach for her 26th birthday from England, died after contracting the disease in the states, officials said. She was a school teacher.
The health department is investigating the other cases but have found no connection among the infected people so far.
Officials advise residents and tourists to wash hands regularly and use caution in activities where saliva or bodily fluids can be transferred.
Officials said these cases started in December. The last case of meningitis in South Florida was recorded in 2007. It was the only case that year.
Copyright AP - Associated Press