Florida Confirms 5 New Non-Travel Related Cases Of Zika Including One in Tampa Bay

Image via AP
Image via AP

Florida Governor Rick Scott confirmed on Tuesday that there are five new cases of non-travel related Zika, including one in the Tampa Bay area following the very specific travel advisory earlier this month warning visitors and residents to stay out of the Wynwood Arts district in Miami.

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At a Zika roundtable held Tuesday, The Washington Post reports that Gov. Scott confirmed that the four new cases are directly tied to mosquitoes in the Wynwood district while the fifth was diagnosed in a Pinellas County resident who had not travelled internationally.

Despite this alarming development, officials have not yet declared the Tampa Bay region a zone of active local transmission. In a statement, Gov. Scott said “While this investigation is ongoing, DOH still believes that ongoing active transmissions are only occurring in the two previously identified areas in Wynwood and Miami Beach.”

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Officials are also investigating whether or not the case in Pinellas County is the cause of the latest case being infected elsewhere and returning to their home. Out of an abundance of caution, they are also not revealing where this person lives. Officials are hopeful that this is just an isolated case and not an indicator that the virus has spread, despite the fact that mosquitoes are winged creatures that fly with reckless abandon.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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Meanwhile, the medical journal Radiology just published some images and information about how bad the effects of Zika can really be on a fetus or baby (warning: medically graphic but not gory images). At the same time, Florida’s already-restrictive abortion laws are being defended by many prominent conservative politicians like Marco Rubio, including in cases of Zika infection. We’re talking about babies being born without most of their brains, without important connections between the brain and the rest of the nervous system, in some cases missing sections of spinal cord. Conservative politicians have no ideas about how to support families once these babies are born, and no intention of bending from their ideological stances.