How Zika spreads (and who’s to blame)
Florida health officials confirmed three new Zika virus infections in Florida on Friday, including two cases in Miami-Dade and one in Seminole County — raising the statewide total to 105 people affected since January, more than any state.
Most of the cases in Florida have been reported in Miami-Dade, where 42 people have contracted the infectious disease this year. Another 15 cases have been confirmed in Broward.
Included in the statewide total are seven pregnant women, who are considered to be at greatest risk from the Zika 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.
Of the cases confirmed in Florida, four people are still exhibiting symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes lasting seven to 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has reported 472 Zika virus infections in the continental United States as of May 4.
There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika virus, which is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. Zika has not been spread locally by mosquitoes in any state, according to the CDC, though lab tests have confirmed the virus in travelers.
The CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to affected areas where Zika is locally transmitted, including much of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nearly all of Florida’s cases were acquired by people traveling outside the country, except for one case of sexual transmission in Polk County.
Zika infections in Florida as of May 6
Number of Cases
Cases involving pregnant women*
*Counties of pregnant women are not disclosed.
Source: Florida Department of Health