State Investigating Possible Non-Travel Zika Case In Miami-Dade County

Jul 19, 2016

The Florida Department of Health is investigating a possible non-travel related case of Zika in Miami-Dade County.

Officials announced the investigation Tuesday evening, but did not say whether the virus was spread through mosquito or other means.

Health officials are conducting an epidemiological investigation and are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this case, according to a statement from the health department..

Zika prevention kits are being distributed in the investigation area and local mosquito control workers also responded.

A press release from the department of health said the kits were also available at the Miami-Dade health department, but as of Wednesday morning, there were no kits available. Olga Connor of the Miami-Dade County Health Department's communications office said later Wednesday that the Zika prevention kits are being shipped and should arrive in Miami on Thursday. 

Florida has reported more than more than 320 cases of the Zika virus. But all of the patients diagnosed had been infected while traveling abroad, in areas where Zika is more prevalent. 

Of biggest concern are the 43 Florida women who are pregnant and have caught the virus, which can produce a severe birth defect called microcephaly that results in an underdeveloped brain and abnormally small head. So far, one woman has given birth to a baby with microcephaly.

The Obama administration's request for $1.9 billion dollars in emergency Zika funding has been stalled in Congress.

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., reacted with disgust last week after Congress went on recess without approving any funding to fight the spread of Zika.

His press office sent an email with his reaction Wednesday to the news of the possible local transmission.

“This is a disturbing yet predictable development that is precisely why Congress needed to approve emergency funding,” Buchanan said.  “We must do everything possible to protect the public and keep the virus from spreading. Washington’s failure to approve emergency funding was a national disgrace that needs to be corrected as soon as Congress returns from its summer recess.”

Health officials continued to remind people to drain any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. 

Health News Florida reporters Sammy Mack and Abe Aboraya contributed to this report.