Florida health officials on Wednesday reported an additional two Zika infections that may have been spread by local mosquitoes while the number of travel-related cases rose by 17 — for a total of 381 people statewide who have contracted the virus this year.
The additional cases of suspected local transmission were reported in Miami-Dade and Broward, the same South Florida counties under investigation since last week for two other cases that may be the first mosquito-borne Zika infections in the continental United States.
Florida has now reported — but not confirmed — four cases of Zika that may have been spread by local mosquitoes. The state has the second highest number of Zika infections in the country, behind New York, including at least 53 pregnant women, who are considered to be at greatest risk from the virus because it can cause microcephaly and other birth defects.
Among the 17 new Zika infections reported in Florida on Wednesday — a new record for most cases in a single day — four involved pregnant women.
Health department officials said this week that they have contacted obstetricians in the Miami-Dade and Broward neighborhoods where they are investigating the suspected local cases and advising them to test their pregnant patients for Zika. Health officials also distributed Zika prevention kits containing insect repellant, bed netting, chemical tablets to kill mosquito larvae and other materials in the suspected neighborhoods.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting in Florida’s investigation of the suspected local cases, identifying places where those infected may have come into contact with others, interviewing residents and collecting urine samples for testing.
Health officials also are coordinating with Miami-Dade mosquito control, which sends workers to inspect the homes and nearby residences of people infected with Zika virus. Workers also conduct spraying and trap mosquitoes to be tested for Zika virus.
To date, Miami-Dade and Broward have not reported any local mosquitoes testing positive for the virus.
For questions about Zika, including health impacts, call the Florida health department hotline at 855-622-6735.
Zika cases reported in Florida as of July 27
Number of Cases
Total cases not involving pregnant women
Cases involving pregnant women regardless of symptoms*
* Counties of pregnant women not disclosed.
** Does not include suspected cases of local transmission.
Source: Florida Department of Health