Health Care

Three new Zika cases confirmed in Miami-Dade, Orange counties

Zika virus, like dengue fever, is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevent says Zika virus infections have been reported through blood transfusions and by men to their sexual partners.
Zika virus, like dengue fever, is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevent says Zika virus infections have been reported through blood transfusions and by men to their sexual partners. TNS

Three new Zika cases were confirmed in Miami-Dade and Orange counties on Thursday, pushing the statewide total number of infections to 35 people, Florida health officials reported.

Two of the new cases were in Miami-Dade, where 13 total cases have been confirmed — more than any county in the state. Another four Zika infections are reported in Broward.

Florida leads the nation in confirmed Zika cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has confirmed 82 infections in the continental United States as of Feb. 17. All of the cases confirmed by the CDC were acquired outside the country, the agency said.

None of the new cases confirmed in Miami-Dade and Orange counties on Thursday are among pregnant women, though state officials reported this week that at least three expectant mothers had contracted the Zika virus while traveling outside of the state.

Pregnant women are considered to be at greatest risk from the virus because of a strongly suspected link between an outbreak of Zika in Brazil and a concurrent spike in microcephaly, a condition in which a newborn’s head is smaller than expected, which can lead to developmental issues.

The Florida Department of Health, which has declared a public health emergency for the 11 counties with confirmed Zika cases, chose not to name the counties where the infected pregnant women live for privacy reasons.

All of Florida’s 35 cases of the Zika virus were acquired outside the state, the health department said.

Zika cases as of Feb. 25 (all acquired outside Florida)

County

Number of Cases

Alachua

1

Brevard

1

Broward

4

Hillsborough

3

Lee

3

Miami-Dade

13

Orange

3

Osceola

1

Santa Rosa

1

Seminole

1

St. Johns

1

Cases involving pregnant women*

3

Total

35

Source: Florida Department of Health

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