The Florida Department of Health has confirmed three cases of Zika virus in Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County.
All three cases are associated with travel to South America. Health officials said the two infected Miami-Dade residents traveled to Colombia in December, while the third case involves a Hillsborough County resident who traveled to Venezuela last month.
[NATL] Global Health Officials Scramble to Fight Zika Virus
Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Americas.
The virus is spread through mosquito bites and is not transmitted person-to-person. There are no locally acquired cases of Zika virus in Florida.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a possible link between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and subsequent birth defects is being investigated in Brazil. Officials are warning travelers to be cautious and protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Health officials encourage Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water, covering their skin with repellent and clothing, and covering windows with screens.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.
The CDC has issued a travel notice for Zika virus in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. More information is available on the CDC's website.