State Capital Briefs (Evening Edition)
The News Service of Florida
Florida health officials said Wednesday they are investigating two additional Zika cases that might not be linked to travel outside the state. The announcement means health officials are now looking at four cases that might not be travel-related --- a potential sign that mosquitoes could be infecting people with the virus in Florida. Two of the cases are in Miami-Dade County, while two are in Broward County. "The investigations into the new cases will begin today and door-to-door outreach and sample collection are ongoing in all cases," the Florida Department of Health said in information posted on its website. "The department will share more details as they become available. Residents and visitors are urged to participate in requests for urine samples by the department in the areas of investigation. These results will help the department determine the number of people affected." Zika, which is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and can cause severe birth defects, emerged last year in South America. The number of Floridians diagnosed with the virus has steadily climbed, but until recently health officials said all of the infections had resulted from travel outside the state. As of Wednesday, the state had 328 cases that did not involve pregnant women, with 96 of those cases in Miami-Dade and 55 in Broward. The state said it also has monitored 53 pregnant women who showed evidence of Zika, though it does not release the counties where those women live.