Florida’s health officials are conducting researches about a second possible Zika case spread by locally infected mosquitoes. With the second report of a non-travel Zika virus case in the state, health officials fear the virus might have a foothold in Florida. This time, the possible Zika case occurred in the state’s Broward County.
Chalmers Vasquez, Miami’s head of mosquito control, said he is not surprised about the possibility of a local Zika virus spread. As per Vasquez, even if the city closed contacts with the Caribbean and Latin America, the Miami International Airport receives everyday people who are returning from those places, and there are big chances the virus has entered the territory throughout them.
Regarding the first Zika virus case reported this week, health authorities said the investigation is still ongoing. The first case was reported in Miami-Dade County.
“To date, approximately 200 people have been interviewed and tested as part of the department’s investigations and we await additional lab results,” the Florida’s health department said in a statement.
Florida’s mosquito control efforts
Days after the first potential case has been reported and with a possibility of a second one, the Florida’s Department of Health is conducting door-to-door outreach with mosquito control measures to discard any possible threats in the areas surrounding the state’s residences, workplaces and frequently visited places of both suspect cases.
“Residents and visitors are urged to participate in requests for blood and urine samples by the department in the areas of investigation. These results will help the department determine the number of people affected,” said authorities at the Florida’s Department of Health.
Over the past week, Florida’s mosquito control efforts have been focused on one particular neighborhood. It is near the home, and common locations of a person the state’s health officials say may have contracted Zika virus.
The head of Miami-Dade County’s Health Department, Lilian Rivera, said her department is currently in an active investigation, not on only in Miami but also in Broward. She asked residents to be patient while health authorities work on the issue.
Further on, Florida’s Department of Health is working alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A medical epidemiologist from the U.S CDC, Marc Fischer, arrived on Friday in Florida to support in the department’s investigation with mapping and testing methodologies. Testing methods involve mosquitoes’ trapping to try to find signs of Zika virus. Scientists have found so far no mosquitoes as carriers of the virus.
The state’s health authorities want to investigate about other ways the two individuals could have contracted Zika. Such is the case of through travel or sexual transmission.
Florida homes dozens of mosquitoes species, including “Aedes Aegypti”, the primary carrier of the Zika virus. More than 1,400 cases of Zika have been reported in the continental United States so far. Most of them are travel-associated cases, and only a few have been found out to be sexually-contracted with people who have traveled abroad.