Florida’s governor announced five new non-travel cases of Zika virus, including one in Pinellas County in the Tampa Bay area. Health officials, however, are still investigating if this incident is a one-off occurrence or an indication of active transmission in the area. If the latter, it would be the first case of local transmission reported outside of Miami-Dade County, which has recorded 41 cases without links to travel.
“In Pinellas County, the Department of Health and Pinellas County Mosquito Control are already working together and have begun aggressive spraying and mosquito abatement efforts,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. “Any pregnant woman who would like to receive a free Zika test or a Zika prevention kit should contact the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.”
The governor’s office said health officials would begin door-to-door screening in Pinellas County to identify the affected area. Similar surveillance has cleared 76 blocks of Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and narrowed the impacted area to less than half a square mile.
Elsewhere, South Dakota reported its first travel-related case of the virus, which causes birth defects.