Travel eliminated as potential cause of Florida's 2 suspected local Zika cases

Epidemiologists in Florida investigating two potential cases of locally acquired Zika infections have ruled out travel as a potential cause, according to the Miami Herald. The two cases — one in Miami-Dade County and another in Broward County — could, upon official confirmation, become the nation's first instances of Zika infections transmitted by local mosquitoes.

"The individuals do not have travel history themselves," Celeste Philip, MD, Florida's surgeon general, said Tuesday during a gathering with Gov. Rick Scott and health officials, according to the Herald. "That's the only mode that we feel pretty certain has been ruled out."

As the number of Zika cases in the U.S. continues to climb, more scientific scrutiny is being applied into transmission investigations. The first ever female-to-male sexual Zika transmission was recently reported in New York and a strange case in Utah in which a caregiver for the first Zika-related death in the U.S. contracted the virus sans sexual contact both spurred a CDC investigation.

According to the Herald, investigators in Florida are currently tracking down contacts of the infected individuals to glean further information about their habits and lifestyles. Investigators are also going door-to-door in the neighborhoods of both infected parties, interviewing community members and collecting urine samples.

"We understand that there is an interest in knowing as much as possible as soon as possible, but we have to get this right," said Dr. Philip.

According to the Herald, Gov. Scott expressed disappointment regarding the failure of Congress to pass emergency funding to combat Zika prior to recessing for the summer.

"We are sort of the tip of the spear for the United States for Zika," said Gov. Scott. "We all have to take this seriously."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
CDC updates Zika guidance: 4 things to know  
New York sees first baby born with Zika-related microcephaly  
CDC awards $60 million to states, territories to battle Zika 

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