Miami – Florida Health department confirmed on Wednesday that three pregnant women contracted the Zika virus while they were traveling outside of the state. These new cases bring a total of 32 confirmed cases in the state.
Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong announced the cases in his daily Zika update. A news release says all three cases are believed to be travel-related and that All 32 reported cases of Zika virus in Florida were acquired outside of the state. However, The health Department declined to identify where they were traveling.
“We have made it a priority to stay ahead of the possible spread of this virus in Florida,” State Surgeon General John Armstrong said about Florida’s preparations before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions the same day the three new cases were confirmed.
Of the 32 confirmed cases statewide, health officials said only three people are still showing symptoms, which typically include a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes that can last from a few days to one week.
The virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are found in Florida, but the CDC reports that Zika can also be transmitted by a man to his sex partners and through blood transfusions. The CDC recommends that men who might have been exposed to the virus consider abstaining or using a condom.
WHO praised Brazil’s response to the Zika virus outbreak
Dr. Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization said at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro that she was impressed by the government’s commitment to tackling the disease. But she also warned the situation could get worse before it gets better.
Chan’s comments Wednesday evening came at the end of a two-day visit to Brazil during which she met with President Dilma Rousseff and senior Cabinet ministers to discuss the government’s strategy to control the outbreak.