Four New Zika Cases Bring Miami Count to 21

     (CN) — Four new Zika infections acquired locally from mosquito bites have been reported in northern Miami, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday, bringing the total number of locally transmitted cases to 21.
     Florida is the only state to report local transmission. The state’s Department of Health said its focus remains on a single square-mile area in Wynwood — a neighborhood in northern Miami — where the infections likely occurred and are ongoing.
     “Today, we have learned that there are four new individuals that have local transmissions of Zika in our state, likely through a mosquito bite,” Scott said in a statement. “This is not only an issue affecting us here in Florida this is a national issue. Florida is just at the head of it with the first cases of local transmission of Zika.”
     The new infections were reported a couple hours after the first Zika-related death in Texas was reported. An infant died from Zika-linked microcephaly soon after being born. The infant’s mother reportedly contracted Zika while visiting Latin America.
     It is the second Zika-related death reported in the continental United States.
     The Zika virus poses a greater threat to pregnant women and women who may want to become pregnant due to its potential connection to a host of congenital disorders.
     Gov. Scott has requested 10,000 additional Zika prevention kits, and called on Congress to resolve issues over allocating funds for battling the virus.
     All county health departments in Florida are offering free Zika risk assessment and testing to pregnant woman.
     Despite the potential birth defects associated with the virus, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has continued to publicly oppose abortions in cases where the mother has been infected by Zika.
     “I understand a lot of people disagree with my view — but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it’s a difficult question and a hard one,” he told Politico over the weekend.

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