Florida investigates first possible non-travel related Zika case

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MIAMI (WSVN) - The Florida Department of Health is investigating whether a case of Zika virus was contracted in Miami-Dade County.

Health officials have not specified how the virus in this case was transmitted. However, they are saying this may be the first possible non-travel related case in Miami-Dade County.

The virus can be sexually transmitted or contracted from an infected mosquito. It causes only a mild illness in most people. However, the virus during pregnancy can lead to babies born with abnormally small heads and smaller brains, which may not have developed properly.

The first case of the virus in Florida was discovered in June, involving a mother who traveled to Haiti. “We are saddened to learn of the first travel-related case of microcephaly in our state,” FDOH Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip said on June 28.

At the time, Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on the public to help keep mosquitoes that might be carrying the disease away. “All of us are responsible,” Scott said on June 28. “We have got to get rid of the standing water so we don’t have these mosquitoes breed in our yards.”

Zika warnings originally focused on people traveling outside of the country, but officials are now emphasizing steps people can take at home to avoid mosquito bites.

Officials suggest people drain standing water in and around their homes, use mosquito repellent and cover up with clothing, especially if they work outside.

The FDOH, which is working with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, haven’t said what part of the county the potential case is in.

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