Four New Zika Virus Cases Reported in Florida Outbreak

PHOTO: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, February 2, 2016. PlayPaulo Whitaker/REUTERS
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Four new Zika infections acquired locally through mosquitoes have been reported in northern Miami, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said today.

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The new cases brings the total infected by the Zika outbreak, which was first detected last month in Miami, to at least 21 people. The Florida Department of Health said it continues to focus on a 1-square-mile area in northern Miami where they believe the infections are ongoing.

All of the new infections were reported in that area.

The Miami outbreak is the first time the Zika virus has been spread through infected mosquitoes in the continental U.S. Officials from the Florida Department of Health have continued to go door to door to test subjects for Zika and to spray areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that spreads Zika, could be hiding.

“Today, we have learned that there are four new individuals that have local transmissions of Zika in our state, likely through a mosquito bite," Scott said in a statement today, calling on the federal government to pass a bill to allot funds to fight Zika. "This is not only an issue affecting us here in Florida -- this is a national issue. Florida is just at the head of it with the first cases of local transmission of Zika."

The new infections were reported the same day that Texas reported its first Zika-related death. An infant with Zika-linked microcephaly died soon after being born. The infant's mother contracted the disease while in Latin America and the virus had affected the child in utero.

Scott said the federal government had not yet fulfilled his request for an additional 10,000 Zika prevention kits and called on Congress to come back into session to resolve the issue over the Zika funds.

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