State Capital Briefs (Evening Edition): Thursday, October 27
The News Service of Florida
Florida health officials on Thursday announced seven pregnant women had acquired the mosquito-borne Zika virus while traveling outside the state. That brings the total of pregnant women with Zika in Florida to 122, although the state Department of Health does not identify where the women live. Zika infections can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads that lead to developmental problems. The women were among 14 new travel-related Zika cases announced by health officials, with four of the other seven cases occurring in Miami-Dade County and single cases reported in Collier, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. The state also identified a new locally acquired Zika case in Miami-Dade, bringing the total of Zika cases caused by Florida mosquitoes to 181. The new case was in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, where state and federal health officials had established a special zone, warning pregnant women to avoid the area. The zone was lifted last month. State officials said the new case involved an individual who exhibited symptoms of the Zika virus in July, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirming the case. As a result, the state said there was no need to reimpose the Wynwood zone. Warning zones for the Zika virus remain in effect for areas of Miami Beach and the Little River neighborhood in Miami. The newly reported Zika incidents bring the total to 1,093 cases in Florida.