State officials say Florida mosquitoes are no longer actively transmitting the Zika virus, marking a milestone in the fight against the disease.
State officials lifted the transmission warning on Miami’s South Beach Friday, signaling an all clear for the last hot spot in the state. Governor Rick Scott says the announcement is great news for the Miami area and its tourism industry. But state Surgeon General Celeste Phillips warns this is not the end of Zika in Florida.
“We will continue to see travelers bringing Zika infections into our state. So we must remain on alert and continue all of the protective efforts that we’ve been doing, that have led to this success,” Phillips said.
Phillips is encouraging residents to continue taking precautions.
“So that means continuing to use repellant, keeping your skin covered as much as possible, which is a little bit easier this time of year when it’s a little bit cooler. And we cannot forget about the risks associated with sexual transmission,” Phillips said.
The state will continue to provide free screenings for pregnant women, who are encouraged to contact their primary doctor, or a county health department. As of Friday afternoon, there are more 1,247 cases of the virus in Florida, and 187 pregnant women have tested positive.