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Zika Spreads to Tampa Bay as Number of Cases in Miami Nears 50

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Florida officials announced Tuesday that a case of locally-acquired Zika infection has been confirmed in the Tampa Bay Area, as medical officials document 42 such cases in the Miami-Dade area, nearly 300 miles away.

Governor Rick Scott confirmed a case of Zika infection in Pinellas County, part of the Tampa Bay area, but has not identified the individual or the neighborhood in which the infection occurred. They are expected to deliver a more thorough report on the location of this new infection following research throughout Pinellas County to identify the potential location of the mosquito nests responsible. The person, which was identified only as a woman, did not travel outside the county, and medical officials believe she contracted the virus through a mosquito bite.

“This person did not travel to an infected area with Zika; we are looking at a number of locations. Hopefully something good will happen and it will just be a single case. But if we do find out, what we will do is we will be very aggressive,” Scott said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Spraying some areas of Tampa Bay with insecticide has begun to occur, though a more thorough campaign may follow as information surfaces.

Doctors are warning, despite the lack of official government action in Pinellas County, that pregnant women in particular practice safe sex to avoid contracting Zika through their partners. “Until we can narrow down with great precision the neighborhoods infected, we have to assume every pregnant woman is at risk in Pinellas and Hillsborough until you can say it’s a specific neighborhood,” Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, told the Miami Herald. – READ MORE

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