State Capital Briefs (Evening Edition): Friday, November 4
The News Service of Florida
Florida health officials on Friday announced eight new cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including two infections involving pregnant women. The new cases bring the total to 1,128 cases in the state. Five of the cases involved people who were infected outside the state but came to Florida, including cases in Miami-Dade, Indian River and Palm Beach counties. Two of the "travel-related" cases involved pregnant women, but the state Department of Health does not identify the home counties of the women. Zika is a special concern for pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects, with Florida now reporting 133 total cases involving pregnant women. Health officials reported two new cases that were acquired locally in Miami-Dade County, where state and federal health officials have established two Zika warning zones, including one in Miami Beach. The final new case involved a person who is not a Florida resident. Zika remains a major concern, particularly in southeast Florida, prompting this unusual message from the Broward County government on Friday: "Don't worry about mosquitoes when you vote. All early voting sites have been treated by mosquito control to prevent the Zika virus." Broward has the second highest number of travel-related Zika cases in Florida at 131, only exceeded by Miami-Dade with 252 travel-related cases, according to state health officials.