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Zika in the US: Department of Health announces 10 new locally acquired cases of virus in Florida

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has identified 10 new locally-acquired cases of the Zika virus in Florida, Governor Rick Scott announced on Monday.

The new cases bring the total number of people who have acquired Zika locally to 14, including two women and 12 men.

However, the DOH believes the transmission is occurring in only a small area of Miami-Dade County.

According to a press release, this remains the only area of the state that the DOH has confirmed to have ongoing local transmissions of the virus.

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Six of the 10 people who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic and discovered through door-to-door surveying.

So far, the DOH has conducted testing for the Zika virus for more than 2,300 people statewide.

The local outbreak of the virus has raised concerns for tourism.

Already, the United Kingdom has issued an advisory for South Florida, urging pregnant women to avoid all non-essential travel to the area.

Amid concerns, Scott has pointed toward the state's previous success in mitigating risk from mosquito-borne viruses.

"Florida has a proven track record of success when it comes to managing similar mosquito-borne viruses. We will continue to keep our residents and visitors safe utilizing constant surveillance and aggressive strategies, such as increased mosquito spraying, that have allowed our state to fight similar viruses," Scott said.

"While I encourage all residents and visitors to continue to use precaution by draining standing water and wearing bug spray, Florida remains safe and open for business."

The Zika virus has been found to cause serious birth defects including microcephaly, which results in babies born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.

It is also linked to increased reports of Guillan-Barré syndrome, which can result in nerve cell damage, muscle weakness and paralysis.

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