Health Care

New Zika virus infections confirmed in Miami-Dade, as state numbers continue to rise

Researchers are saying further investigation is needed to establish a definitive causal link between the Zika virus and development of a neurological disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Researchers are saying further investigation is needed to establish a definitive causal link between the Zika virus and development of a neurological disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome. TNS

Florida health officials confirmed two new Zika virus infections in Miami-Dade on Tuesday, raising the county’s total to 30 people who have contracted the infectious disease — the greatest number of cases in the state.

Statewide, a total of 62 people have contracted the Zika virus, including eight in Broward County, since Florida’s Department of Health began reporting infections on Feb. 9.

Among Florida’s confirmed cases, two people are still exhibiting symptoms, which can include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes lasting one week to 10 days.

Pregnant women are at greatest risk because of recent findings establishing a link between an outbreak of Zika in Brazil and a concurrent spike in microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head and an underdeveloped brain.

So far, all but one case of sexual transmission in Polk County were acquired by travelers outside the state, the health department reported.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between Jan. 1 and March 9 there were 193 reported cases of Zika virus in the U.S.

Zika is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquito bites, although the spread of the virus also has been reported through blood transfusions and by men to their sexual partners.

Zika cases in Florida as of March 15

County

Number of Cases

Alachua

1

Brevard

1

Broward

8

Hillsborough

3

Lee

3

Miami-Dade

30

Orange

4

Osceola

3

Polk

2

Santa Rosa

1

Seminole

1

St. Johns

1

Cases involving pregnant women*

4

Total

62

* Counties of pregnant women not disclosed.

Source: Florida Department of Health

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