The Florida Department of Health is now investigating five new non-travel related cases of Zika in the State of Florida. One of the five cases is in Pinellas County and the other four are in the impacted area of Wynwood.
Governor Scott held a roundtable discussion on Tuesday morning in Clearwater. During the discussion, he announced that the Department of Health has begun door-to-door outreach and sampling in Pinellas County. Mosquito abatement and reduction activities are also underway.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Today, we learned that the Florida Department of Health is investigating one new individual with non-travel related Zika in Pinellas County. While this investigation is ongoing, DOH still believes that ongoing active transmissions are only occurring in the two previously identified areas in Wynwood and Miami Beach. As we’ve seen in Wynwood, our aggressive mosquito control and public education efforts are working which is why DOH was able to clear a significant area in Wynwood today, bringing the total cleared area to 76 blocks. This means that we have now cleared half of the area in Wynwood where we believe ongoing active transmission of Zika is occurring. This is great news and we hope to continue reducing this area.
“In Pinellas County, the Department of Health and Pinellas County Mosquito Control are already working together and have begun aggressive spraying and mosquito abatement efforts. Any pregnant woman who would like to receive a free Zika test or a Zika prevention kit should contact the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. We remain fully committed to ensuring that every county has all of the resources they need to combat this virus and stand ready to assist residents and visitors in the impacted communities.”
According to the DOH, a travel-related case means the person acquired the Zika Virus outside of Florida. A non-travel related case means the person acquired the virus somewhere in Florida.
It is not clear when, where or how the person became infected.
Health officials did say the individuals has traveled to multi Bay area counties for work and family activities.
"Unfortunately ,there is no magic formula to determining or predicting when exposure may occur," said Dr. Celeste Philip, Florida's Surgeon General.
As of right now, health officials have no evidence proving this was locally transmitted.
And, they do not believe area mosquitoes are infected with the virus and transmitting it to people.
We can say that there has not been on going transmission around the places where that person most frequently visits," Philip added.
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An investigation is now underway into the case identified in Pinellas County.
Health officials will not release the area in Pinellas County they're canvassing because this is a single case. They say there is not increased risk to the public unless they find multiple cases.
Results for the door-to-door sampling will take anywhere from one to two months to come back, health officials noted. Once those results are back, we may get a better idea or confirm this case was locally transmitted.
Any Pinellas County resident who would like to request mosquito control services for their residence or business should contact Pinellas County Mosquito Control HERE.