Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a press conference about the Zika virus in Doral, Florida, U.S. on August 4, 2016. Reuters/Joe Skipper/File Photo
August 8, 2016—The Palm Beach Post is reporting, a new case of non-travel-related Zika virus is being investigated by Florida health officials in Palm Beach County. It is not clear whether the victim contracted the virus from a mosquito or a recent trip to Miami-Dade county, the only county to report local transmissions of the virus.
In a statement from his office, Governor Rick Scott said "Today, DOH has announced that they are investigating one new individual with non-travel related Zika in Palm Beach County. While this investigation is ongoing, DOH still believes active transmissions are only taking place within the identified area that is less than one-square mile in Miami-Dade County. With the announcement of this new case, and the upcoming new school year, I have directed DOH and DOE to closely work together to ensure students, parents, educators and district leaders have all the resources and guidance they need to combat the Zika virus."
Wynwood, the area of Miami affected, has become "pretty much a ghost town". The usual weekend crowds have been staying away. Yesenia Candelario at Marine Layer noted that "There’s a bunch of restaurants here and now we have new shops. So we have a lot of people come in for brunch and tourists who wanna see the murals and shop around. But it’s not like that due to the Zika virus," according to a report from CBS Miami.
Weekend crowds to #Wynwood in #Miami have been staying away for fears of contracting #Zika.—@MarkScheering
Miami-Dade Mosquito Control have been spraying the neighborhood with an insecticide known as "Naled", a product safely used by them for decades. They expect to continue the spraying indefinitely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 1,825 reported cases of Zika virus in the United States. Nearly all of them contracted the virus while traveling. But there are 6 mosquito-borne cases, all of which are in Florida. The CDC has provided guidelines for those living in, or planning to travel to, Wynwood. Women who are pregnant are strongly advised to avoid the area. Please review what to do if Zika is in your area. Some key facts are:
- Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
- Many people who get infected never have symptoms. In people who get sick, symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes) are usually mild and resolve completely.
- Zika can cause serious birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Most people fully recover from GBS, but some have permanent damage and, in some cases, people have died.
- Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time.
- Because there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, people living in or traveling to areas with Zika should take steps to prevent infection.