Florida health officials confirmed four new Zika infections on Wednesday, including two cases in Miami-Dade and one each in St. Johns and Seminole counties, raising the statewide total to 154 people who have contracted the virus this year, including 36 pregnant women.
In Miami-Dade, where most of Florida’s Zika cases have been reported, 46 people have been infected with the virus, said the state health department, but the disease has not been transmitted locally by mosquito bites. Broward County has reported 17 cases of Zika.
With South Florida's rainy season approaching and the numbers of Aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus mosquitoes that transmit the disease expected to rise — along with increases in international travel from Zika-affected areas, such as Brazil, which will host the Summer Olympics — Miami-Dade and state officials have launched efforts to combat the spread of the infectious disease.
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Of the cases confirmed in Florida, four are still exhibiting symptoms, which can include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes lasting seven to 10 days. Four out of five people who contract Zika do not exhibit symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida recently modified how it counts Zika infections in pregnant women, including those who were asymptomatic. The state has 36 cases among pregnant women, regardless of whethe they show symptoms. Pregnant women are considered to be at greatest risk from the Zika virus because of an established link between the virus and congenital microcephaly, a condition in which a newborn’s head is smaller than expected, which can lead to developmental issues.
The CDC has reported 544 Zika virus infections in the continental United States as of May 18.
There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika virus, which is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito but the CDC also has reported cases transmitted through blood transfusions and by an infected men to their sexual partners.
Confirmed Zika cases in Florida as of May 25
Number of Cases
Total cases not involving pregnant women
Cases among pregnant women regardless of symptoms*
* Counties of pregnant women are not identified
Source: Florida Department of Health