Florida to start aerial spraying of insecticides to tackle Zika

Posted August 06, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two babies have been born with Zika-related birth defects in California to mothers who were infected overseas, health officials said Thursday. Microcephaly is a condition in which the head is smaller than normal because the brain has not developed properly.

RiverStone Health and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services confirmed Wednesday the first Zika virus case has been reported in Yellowstone County.

Health officials said the infants were born to women who spent time in a country with a Zika virus epidemic and had infections during pregnancy.

As of Thursday, there were more than 970 pregnant women in the US and its territories with evidence of Zika. As in all of the other cases in Louisiana, the patients travelled to regions in the Americas with ongoing Zika transmission and sought medical care in Louisiana after returning, where tests confirmed the viral infection.

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Zika virus can spread through mosquito bites, and common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

While health officials have advised pregnant women not to travel there, Zika is considered a mild illness outside of the threat to newborns.

The Army is collaborating with outside partners to develop a Zika virus vaccine, according to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Smith said that the virus is also transmitted by sexual activity and that both sexually active men and women should take the necessary precautions if they travel to countries where the virus is prevalent.

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The new case raises the number of locally transmitted Zika infections in Florida to 15 people, including 13 in Miami-Dade and two in Broward.

"We would not be at all surprised if we find additional cases within that square foot area", said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden. "While this is good news, and proof that our education and mosquito-control efforts are working, we will not become complacent and will continue to aggressively fight against the Zika virus".

"We put out larvicides and we look for locations that where the breeding sights for mosquitoes are", said Shifflett".

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