Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday that the state health department has identified 10 more people who have been infected with the Zika virus who likely contracted it from mosquitoes, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 14.
The governor said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue a travel notice to women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to avoid unnecessary travel to the affected area that is just north of downtown Miami.
In a statement, Scott said health department officials believe that active transmission is still only occurring in that one several-block area that was announced on Friday. This remains the only area of the state where the health department has confirmed ongoing local transmissions of Zika. Among the 10 new individuals announced Monday, six are asymptomatic and were identified from the door-to-door community survey that DOH is conducting.
Scott said he is formally requesting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to activate an emergency response team to help the department and other partners in their investigation, including helping with mosquito control efforts.
Scott said health officials have been testing individuals in three locations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties for possible local transmissions through mosquito bites. Two locations have been ruled out for possible local spread. His statement did not provide additional details on location.
Since the health department began its investigation July 7th, more than 200 individuals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have been tested for the virus who live or work near the individuals that have already been confirmed with likely mosquito-borne transmissions.
Of the 14 individuals identified, two are women and 12 are men.
“Florida has a proven track record of success when it comes to managing similar mosquito-borne viruses,” Scott said. “While I encourage all residents and visitors to continue to use precaution by draining standing water and wearing bug spray, Florida remains safe and open for business. This year, we have already welcomed a record 30 million tourists and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to Florida this summer.”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Lena H. Sun