2 more cases of Zika reported in Florida; 1 in Osceola

- Two more cases of the Zika virus have been found in two additional Florida counties. State health officials said Friday that a case of the Zika virus was found in Osceola County, outside Orlando, and one in St. Johns County, near Jacksonville.

The new cases bring Florida's total count to 14 in seven counties. Belinda Johnson-Cornett is Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County.  She says none of the fourteen Zika patients got the virus here and stressed in a news conference, “None of them have. It’s from people traveling other places. None of them have been acquired here in Florida”

The Zika virus has also been found in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties. All the cases have been travel related. No cases of transmittal have been reported in Florida. 

The virus causes fever, rash and achy joints. It is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes.  Health officials say your best defense against the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites by removing standing water in your yard, wearing long sleeves shirts and long pants at dusk and dawn, and using mosquito repellant.  Johnson-Corentt adds, “Just be vigilant about your surroundings and what you can do as an individual to insure your own safety.”

Johnson- Cornett says it’s possible we could see more cases in Central Florida.  “It’s where people travel , in traveling to other countries and coming back.  Obviously, there’s a potential there could be other cases.”

In Brazil, health officials are investigating a possible connection between the virus and babies born with brain defects and abnormally small heads.  State health officials say none of the 14 Florida patients are pregnant women.  

 

Some information taken from the Associated Press.

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