Florida finds Zika in trapped mosquitoes, 1st in US mainland

Cody PriceSep 02, 2016

The health department said it had tested more than 40,000 mosquitoes since May, and that the three samples were the first to test positive.

"This find is disappointing, but not surprising", Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said in a statement.

A second pregnant woman has been found to have Zika, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Environment Agency (NEA) said as they confirmed 36 more locally transmitted Zika cases as of 12pm Thursday, Sept. 1.

The announcement was made Thursday as a poll was released suggesting almost 48 percent of Americans are wary of traveling to USA destinations where people have been infected with Zika through mosquito bites.

Chris Reisinger, an environmental analyst with the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management's Mosquito Control Division will speak about the number of infections in Palm Beach County and mosquito control activities 2 p.m. September 15 at the North Palm Beach Library, 303 Anchorage Drive.

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The illness spreads from people to mosquitoes to people again through bites, but the insects do not spread the disease to each other and their lifespan is just a few weeks.

Hurricane Hermine, set to cause flooding and damage when it hits Florida overnight, could complicate efforts to fight Zika in Florida, experts in infectious diseases and mosquitoes said.

Officials said 95 more trapped mosquitoes have tested negative since those three were found.

There has been a surge in number of people affected by Zika virus in Singapore, particularly those working in construction sites.

However, Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to microcephaly and other birth defects in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant. Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in most of Florida's 67 counties ahead of the first hurricane to strike the state in more than a decade. The US and Britain joined Australia and Taiwan in advising pregnant women to avoid non-essential travel to the city-state, while a local health expert warned the infection rate would rise.

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The Indonesian national who caught the virus in Singapore is her country's first case of infection, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

According to the health ministry notification, the affected Bangladeshi nationals had very mild symptoms and a lot of them either have recovered or are recovering.

First detected in Brazil past year, Zika can cause the rare birth defect microcephaly, marked by abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains, when pregnant women are infected.

As of Wednesday, the state Department of Health has reported 47 non-travel related Zika cases in Florida. Common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

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