Health Care

Florida reports first sexually transmitted Zika infection of 2017

In this March 2016 photo, people make their way through fumigation fog sprayed to kill Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Florida health officials said the state’s first sexually transmitted Zika case of 2017 occurred after the infected person’s partner returned from a visit to Cuba.
In this March 2016 photo, people make their way through fumigation fog sprayed to kill Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. Florida health officials said the state’s first sexually transmitted Zika case of 2017 occurred after the infected person’s partner returned from a visit to Cuba. AP

Health officials on Tuesday reported Florida’s first sexually transmitted Zika infection of 2017, which occurred in Pinellas County and brings the statewide total to 90 cases this year.

The person who acquired Zika through sex had not traveled outside of Florida, but the partner recently visited Cuba and fell ill with symptoms consistent with the virus. Both persons tested positive for Zika, the Florida Department of Health reported. The case is classified as travel related.

Most people infected with Zika do not experience symptoms or will only have mild effects, including fever, rash, headache, joint and muscle pain and red eyes, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stephanie Mihlbauer, 28, who is more than four months pregnant, talks about why she is attending a Zika Information Session at West Kendall Baptist Hospital on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. The free session hosted by Baptist Health South Florida invited

State health officials emphasized that there is no evidence of active spread of Zika by mosquitoes anywhere in Florida, but they advised residents to take precautions if they or their partners have traveled to an area with ongoing transmission of the virus.

While Zika cases in Florida have declined compared with last year, the state has reported 118 cases in 2017, including 90 travel-related cases. An additional 28 Zika infections with exposure in 2016 but tested this year also have been reported, including six locally acquired cases and 22 with undetermined exposure.

Last week, Texas reported its first case this year of locally transmitted Zika, in Hidalgo County, which is near the border with Mexico, where the virus is currently being transmitted by mosquitoes. The Texas case is also the first local case in any state this year.

Daniel Chang: 305-376-2012, @dchangmiami

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