4 Florida Zika cases likely caused by local mosquitoes, officials say

The state of Florida has informed the CDC that four Zika infections in the state were likely transmitted by local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, making them the first known cases of Zika mosquito transmission in the U.S.

On July 19, Florida health officials announced a possible case of locally transmitted Zika in Miami. That number soon increased to four. Epidemiological investigations conducted by Florida health officials in collaboration with the CDC soon yielded substantial evidence suggesting local transmission. The investigation included interviewing neighbors of the infected individuals and requesting residents to provide urine samples.

"All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami," said Tom Frieden, MD, director of the CDC. "We continue to recommend that everyone in areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are present — and especially pregnant women — take steps to avoid mosquito bites. We will continue to support Florida's efforts to investigate and respond to Zika and will reassess the situation and our recommendations on a daily basis."

State health officials are rapidly implementing mosquito control measure and conducting a communitywide search for additional cases. The CDC has provided the state with a medical epidemiologist for added assistance. For now, there are no plans of limiting travel to the area.

In light of the possibility of local Zika transmission in Florida, the Food and Drug Administration asked blood collection organizations in the two effected Florida counties to stop collecting blood immediately to keep the U.S. blood supply Zika-free.

According to the most recent update from the CDC, there have been 13 babies born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects like microcephaly.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
CDC backs away from using controversial insecticide to fight Zika in Puerto Rico  
Texas Children's to open first Zika clinic in the state  
New York sees first baby born with Zika-related microcephaly 

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