Zika Still Lingering in Florida With Travel-Related Cases

Two New Travel-Related Cases in Florida

State health officials announced on Friday that two new travel-related cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Collier County.

These two cases are the first cases in Southwest Florida reported in 2017.

Last month Florida was reported free of locally transmitted Zika, but the Collier County cases are among six new travel-related cases in the state, said the Florida Department of Health.

Of the other reported cases, two are in Miami-Dade County, one is in Seminole and another is in Broward, according to the Department of Health.

The difference between Florida being free of locally transmitted and travel-related Zika is that travel-related cases involve people with Zika that became infected while out of the country and came back with symptoms or developed the symptoms after returning to the United States.

Locally transmitted Zika is the transmission of the virus here in the State through a number of means, sexually transmitted or through a mosquito carrying the virus.

According to Naples Daily News, state health officials have reported three new locally transmitted Zika infections, two in Miami-Dade and one in an out-of-state resident.

Two of the locally transmitted cases are included in 2016 data. The individuals’ blood samples were sent in for testing back in October, but the results weren’t sent to the state until recently.

Last summer Miami-Dade saw a spike in local transmission cases when mosquitoes were prevalent. Governor Rick Scott immediately took action and with the spraying against mosquitoes, cooler weather and the public being urged to use bug spray the number of cases dropped.

While some people aren’t aware they’ve been infected with the virus, one in five people will have symptoms, usually a low-grade fever, rash and joint pain. Pregnant women are at risk if their unborn baby is exposed to the virus. Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to learn more about the link between Zika and birth defects.

For more information on the virus visit floridahealth.gov or cdc.gov or call the Zika hotline at 1-855-622-6735.