In a follow-up to the news of local Zika transmission in Miami-Dade County Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced today that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has identified 10 additional people in Florida with the Zika virus who likely contracted it through a mosquito bite. This brings the total number of people with locally transmitted Zika to 14.
This has prompted Scott to call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to activate a CDC Emergency Response Team (CERT) to assist the Florida Department of Health and other partners in their investigation, sample collection, and mosquito control efforts.
All 14 locally acquired Zika cases are linked to one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown. Among the 10 new individuals announced today, six are asymptomatic and were identified from the door-to-door community survey that DOH is conducting.
Governor Scott said, “Today, DOH has confirmed that 10 additional people have contracted the Zika virus locally, likely through a mosquito bite. DOH has been testing individuals in three locations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties for possible local transmissions through mosquito bites. Based on DOH’s investigations, two locations have been ruled out for possible local transmissions of the Zika virus. DOH believes local transmissions are still only occurring in the same square mile area of Miami.
“Following today’s announcement, I have requested that the CDC activate their Emergency Response Team to assist DOH in their investigation, research and sample collection efforts. Their team will consist of public health experts whose role is to augment our response efforts to confirmed local transmissions of the Zika virus.
“While we continue to learn more about this virus each day, we know that it is most harmful to pregnant women and their babies. For women who live or work in the impacted area and are either pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit.
“Florida has a proven track record of success when it comes to managing similar mosquito-borne viruses. We will continue to keep our residents and visitors safe utilizing constant surveillance and aggressive strategies, such as increased mosquito spraying, that have allowed our state to fight similar viruses. 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.”