State Says Two More Zika Cases Might Not Be Travel-Related

The State of Florida may have recorded its first two local cases of the dreaded Zika virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, local health authorities reported. For blood-collection establishments outside of this region, FDA is recommending that donors who have traveled to Miami-Dade and Broward Counties during the previous four weeks defer on donating blood.

According to NBC News, a CDC spokesman said "evidence is mounting to suggest local transmission via mosquitoes" in southern Florida, saying that the latest cases are patterns similar seen to mosquito-borne outbreaks like Chikungunya. So far, the 1,400 infections reported in the US - including 383 in Florida - have been linked to travel to countries in Latin America or the Caribbean with Zika outbreaks. "For local transmission of Zika virus to be possible, mosquitoes must first pick up the virus from an infected person to be able to spread it to others", said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.

Passaic County's Division of Mosquito Control recently received a grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in order to assist the county's efforts to combat Zika virus.

For more information on the Zika virus contact the local health department at 740-380-3030.

That changed this month, when health officials in Florida began investigating a possible non-travel-related case in Miami-Dade County.

One Blood, which supplies blood to more than 200 hospitals in most of Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama and SC, said all of the agency's sites would begin testing for Zika on Friday. He stopped short, however, of telling them not to travel to South Florida - although he did say couples considering starting a family should talk to their doctors about timing their pregnancies if concerned. The state is monitoring 53 pregnant women who had Zika infections. No cases have been transmitted locally. They're also advising pregnant women to use condoms for the duration of their pregnancies in order to prevent Zika infections.

"They will actually have people going through backyards and looking at sites where they need to spray", he said.

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