With the locally acquired Zika virus case count at 15 in the Miami area and concerns about pregnant women and the virus that has been linked to birth defects, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered the Department of Health to provide Zika testing to pregnant women at all county health departments at no cost. To ensure that Zika tests are processed as quickly as possible, DOH will make available additional lab services to handle the expected increase in tests being administered.
Governor Scott said, “Today, the Florida Department of Health confirmed that there are no new cases of local Zika infection, meaning the state total for locally transmitted infections stands at 15. At this time, DOH continues to believe that active local transmissions are only occurring in the same one square mile area of Miami. While this is good news, and proof that our education and mosquito control efforts are working, we will not become complacent and will continue to aggressively fight against the Zika virus. For this reason, I have directed DOH to make Zika testing available to all pregnant women who would like to be tested at county health departments statewide at no cost. We know Zika is most harmful to pregnant women and their babies and we must work to protect them.
“As I have said before, Florida has a proven track record of success when it comes to managing similar mosquito-borne viruses. Since February, DOH has conducted Zika testing for more than 2,400 people statewide, and more than 340 people have been tested in the impacted area since July 7th. Our testing is increasing every day and more than 140 people have been tested in the impacted area in the past three days.
“In addition to testing, communities like Miami-Dade County are also ramping up mosquito abatement and mitigation efforts. In Miami-Dade County, they are working hard to increase spraying, including aerial spraying, in the impacted area. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our residents and visitors safe.”