Four Florida Zika Cases May Have Been Locally Transmitted
Four people in Florida who have Zika may have contracted the virus in the United States, according to the Florida Department of Health.
In a press release Wednesday, the department said it's investigating two more non-travel-related cases. That brings the total of potentially non-travel-related cases to four: two in Broward County and two in Miami-Dade County.
Wednesday's news raises concerns that mosquitoes in Florida may be spreading the virus.
Chalmers Vasquez is the operations manager and director of mosquito control for Miami-Dade County. He says his department is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits zika.
"Imported or locally transmitted, we respond the same. The protocol doesn’t change," Vazquez said. "We don’t control the virus, we control mosquitoes. We’ve been controlling these mosquitoes for many, many, many years."
Mosquito-control measures include spraying for mosquitoes, dumping standing water and educating the public about mosquito prevention.
Most Zika patients in Florida contracted the virus when traveling in Latin America or the Caribbean.
The Florida Department of Health did not confirm whether Florida's non-travel-related cases were transmitted locally, by Florida mosquitoes. Zika can be transmitted through sex with an infected person, as well as through mosquito bites.
Investigators will be going door-to-door in the affected areas, and the department says South Florida residents can help the investigation by providing urine samples when requested.