Three pregnant Florida women have contracted the Zika virus, according to the Florida Department of Health. Researchers are studying possible links between Zika in pregnant women and birth defects in babies.
The Florida Department of Health won’t say where in Florida the cases were confirmed, but all were contracted while traveling outside the U.S.
“We have, however, identified three pregnant women who traveled to countries affected by Zika and likely had Zika virus in those countries and returned without any symptoms,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong told a congressional subcommittee on Zika.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 250 additional Zika tests.
So far, 32 Floridians have caught the Zika virus while traveling outside the country. Only three of those cases are considered active infections. Central Florida is up to five Zika cases in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and now Seminole counties.
Central Floridians have caught Zika in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Colombia and Venezuela.
Zika is mainly spread by yellow fever mosquitoes, found year-round in Florida. Officials are asking residents to dump any standing water to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
In addition, the CDC is studying 14 more cases of Zika that may have been contracted sexually. Three more countries have been added to the list of those pregnant travelers or those looking to become pregnant.
Reporter Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.