Four people in South Florida likely have the first local and non-travel related Zika cases in the country. As Matt Galka tells us, containment is now the state’s top priority.
Governor Rick Scott broke the news Friday morning, one woman and three men from South Floridaare the first people in the country to get Zika in the states. The infections occurred in a one square mile area north of downtown Miami. State officials are confident they can manage the virus based on past results.
“We’ve seen many types of mosquito born viruses such as chikingunya imported to our state, and we’ve been successful in limiting local transmission to small numbers,” said Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip.
State funds are being allocated to the areas main bloodbank to start screening for Zika. The virus poses the greatest risk to pregnant women so the state is coordinating with women’s healthcare providers to give out Zika prevention kits.
The state has yet to find a mosquito that has tested positive for the virus.
Florida State University public health expert Dr. Chris Uejio says we will probably see more cases pop up.
“The most likely case is that we’ll continue to see these localized pockets of transmission of the Zika virus, transmitted locally during the sort of peak summer, early fall season in certain parts of Florida. That seems to be the most likely scenario,” he said.
But Floridians don’t need to panic. They just need to be prepared.
“This is not a let’s start freaking out moment, it’s definitely something that all together, all pitching in, looking out for each other and employing best practices we should be fine,” said Dr. Uejio.
The four people infected locally did not show any symptoms of the virus.