Local initiatives to control Aedes-aegypti mosquito continue
Florida State health officials have confirmed 3 new cases of the Zika virus in Miami Dade County.
This brings to total count to 30 infections in Miami Dade, and 10 in Broward. Officials are urging residents to take precaution when outdoors. The Zika virus is reported to be spread through Aedes aegypti mosquito bites, blood transfusions, and sexual intercourse.
Miami-Dade now currently has 39 of the state’s 91 reported cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
Five Zika virus cases were confirmed in Florida late February including one pregnant patient, according to state health officials. The cases included 3 more infections in Miami-Dade County and one more in Broward County.
Zika Virus, also known as Zika Fever, often causes no or only mild symptoms, similar to a mild form of Dengue fever. Since the 1950s, it has been known to occur within locations among Africa and Asia. In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island, and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika virus outbreak has now reached epic proportions.
As of February 2016, there is evidence that Zika fever in pregnant women can cause abnormal brain development in their fetuses by mother-to-child transmission, called microcephaly.
As the Sunshine state leads the nation in the number of newly confirmed Zika virus infections, Florida will likely become a major focus for a new White House proposal to provide $510 million in the fight against the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to higher birth defects. Local initiatives to control the Aedes-aegypti mosquito have increased through spraying and other methods in South Florida cities.
Read more: Florida gears up for Zika
The CDC wants travelers returning to South Florida and other regions in the U.S. to take extra steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, so the insects won’t spread the virus. The agency indicated it expects some clusters of homegrown Zika in mosquito-prone regions like Florida, but is working these regions, states and local governments, to boost mosquito control.