Australia's Department of Health confirmed that the man from Pilbara, a thinly populated region of Western Australia, has apparently contracted the potentially deadly virus in Point Samson, about 55 km North East of Karratha, the media reports said on Thursday.

Although a number of West Australians have been infected in recent times, the disease has always been contracted overseas, said Paul Armstrong from the Department of Health. "We were all taken by surprise by this. We have exhaustively tested his blood on more than two occasions and it's very clear that this guy does have dengue fever," Armstrong said.

"The victim hasn't been travelling outside of the country for a number of decades. So, we can't pin it on recent travel to Bali or any other places. So he's caught it locally," he said. Armstrong said it is possible the mosquito carrying the fever hitched a ride to Australia on a boat.

"It could have also come in on someone's luggage or it might have come in from a caravan across from the northern part of Queensland," he said.


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