The ongoing outbreak of locally transmitted Zika virus continues with six new cases reported today. These new cases bring the total number of people infected with locally transmitted Zika virus in southern Florida to 70.
This outbreak first reported in July is the first time the virus has spread via mosquitoes in the continental U.S.
The Florida Department of Health officials said they still believe there are only two small areas in the southern part of the state where Zika transmission is ongoing. Those locations in the Wynwood neighborhood in northern Miami and in the town of Miami Beach are currently being sprayed with insecticide in order to diminish the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus.
However, the department reported they are investigating one of the six new cases to see where that person was exposed to the virus. The other infections were associated with exposures in the Miami Beach and Wynwood area.
"One case does not mean ongoing active transmission is taking place," officials from the Florida Department of Health said in a statement today.
There have been 634 cases of travel-related Zika infections in Florida and a total of 86 pregnant women have been reported infected with the virus since the start of the outbreak, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told ABC News in an earlier interview that health officials will likely look at past outbreaks of dengue fever to understand how long a Zika outbreak will last. The dengue fever virus is in the same family of viruses as the Zika virus and spread by the same mosquito species, though it causes different symptoms and is not sexually transmitted.
"If dengue is any indication, [the outbreak] will wind down in a few weeks to months," Morse said, emphasizing that researchers are still learning about the Zika virus every day.