Florida Governor Rick Scott announced on Monday that the state’s health department is investigating a possible case of a non-travel associated Zika infection in Palm Beach County. The person in question recently traveled to Miami-Dade County, where there is some local transmission of the virus. The agency is investigating where the individual may have been infected.
Currently there are at least 13 cases of locally-transmitted Zika in Florida according to the state’s health department. Health authorities believe local mosquitoes are still spreading the virus in a less than one-square mile area north of downtown Miami. You can see the region here. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised pregnant women not to travel to the area.
Governor Scott announced that the state will be distributing Zika toolkits to schools and teachers in local districts as well as public colleges and universities to educate people about the virus. Mosquito repellant will also be sent to schools. The health department is doing door-to-door outreach and is sampling the mosquitoes in the area as well as conducting mosquito control.
The virus is proven to cause the severe birth defect microcephaly, and has rapidly spread through the Americas. Most people who contract the virus do not show any symptoms. Those that do show signs of the disease may experience flu like symptoms and a rash.