The number of confirmed Zika infections in Florida rose by two over the weekend to a grand total of 16 cases statewide, including six in Miami-Dade, Surgeon General John Armstrong reported Monday.
All of the cases in Florida are travel related, and the state has yet to see its first locally transmitted infection, the department of health reported.
None of the cases in Florida involve pregnant women, who are believed to be at risk because of a suspected association between the spread of Zika virus and a spike in microcephaly, a birth defect that leaves newborns with abnormally small skulls.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order on Feb. 3 directing Armstrong to declare a public health emergency for the counties whose residents have travel-related cases of Zika, including Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Santa Rosa and St. Johns.
16 Confirmed Zika infections in Florida, all travel related.
In Miami-Dade, the county’s mosquito control section has been following its standard mosquito control protocol in response to health department reports.
According to a memo from Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the county’s mosquito control section is prepared to respond “aggressively” with truck or aerial spraying should mosquito counts or the numbers of complaints increase significantly.
Separately, the health department reports, Scott has asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC for at least 1,000 Zika antibody tests. Florida currently has the capacity to test 475 people, according to the health department.
The governor also asked the CDC to conduct a conference call by Feb. 17 to help train hospital workers on how Zika is spread, its symptoms, treatments and proper precautions. The CDC has not yet fulfilled the requests, the health department reported.
According to the CDC, four out of five people do not experience any symptoms with Zika virus. Those who do generally have a rash, fever and joint pain.
CDC researchers and others are currently working to establish a definitive link between the Zika virus and harm to unborn babies exposed during pregnancy.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Zika cases
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Source: Florida Department of Health