The health department said in a news release that the Zika virus is a generally mild illness that is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito.
According to the statement, four of the cases were previously announced by Florida's Department of Health as being under investigation. It is an emerging threat in South and Central America and the Caribbean, with the recent Brazilian epidemic resulting in 440,000-1,300,000 cases and spreading to more than thirteen other countries. According to the state health department, there were 153 locally transmitted cases of Zika in Florida. It has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly in Brazil.
Mosquito control measures are also taking place in order to reduce the population of the Aedes aeygpti mosquito, the species that spreads the Zika virus.
"We've seen five consecutive weeks of a downward trend, so we do think it has peaked, but it's always good to have more data", territorial epidemiologist Esther Ellis said.
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Use screens or close windows and doors to keep out mosquitoes. "Alongside government efforts, householders are encouraged to disrupt standing water that can gather in gutters, pot plants and spare or discarded tires, and to dispose of household waste in sealed plastic bags", Dr. Khetrapal Singh said.
The Zika virus is particularly risky to pregnant women because it can cause birth defects such as microcephaly, in which babies are born with unusually small heads and deformed brains.
County officials also have reported finding mosquitoes that tested positive for Zika at seven different locations within the same Miami Beach zone. In all, 104 cases involved pregnant women. World Health Organization recommends safer sex or abstinence for a period of six months for men and women who are returning from areas of active transmission, regardless of whether they are trying to conceive.
Both pregnant women carrying the virus live in George Town district, public health officials said.