Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida records first sexually transmitted Zika case

While the Zika virus is most often transmitted by mosquito, public health officials say a growing number cases are sexually transmitted. [AP]

While the Zika virus is most often transmitted by mosquito, public health officials say a growing number cases are sexually transmitted. [AP]

The first sexually transmitted Zika infection in Florida has been reported in Polk County, state health officials said Wednesday.

The person who contracted the virus caught it from someone who had recently traveled outside of the country, the health department said. All of the 51 other cases reported in Florida have involved people returning from Zika-infected countries.

News of the person-to-person transmission prompted Gov. Rick Scott to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for another conference call with Florida health workers.

"I appreciate the CDC for previously speaking with Florida doctors and health care workers on a conference call last month, but it is imperative that the most up-to-date information is available so we can stay ahead of the possible spread of the Zika virus in Florida," Scott said in a statement.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Here's what you need to know about Zika if you live in Florida

Zika has been spreading across the Americas since late last year. The virus is most often transmitted by mosquito. But public health officials say it can also be spread through sexual intercourse.

Earlier this week, World Health Organization Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said investigations "strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed."

Most people who are infected with Zika don't know they have it; others experience mild, cold-like symptoms.

The greatest potential risk is to pregnant women. Doctors in countries where the virus is prevalent have noticed an increase in the number of babies born with underdeveloped brains, and believe a link is possible.

Scientists have yet to prove the association between Zika and the condition known as microcephaly . But research published by Florida State University last week shows the virus targets brain development cells.

Of the 52 cases reported in Florida, four have involved pregnant women, according to the state health department. The lion's share (31) were reported in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Hillsborough, Lee and Orange counties each have reported three cases.

Nationally, 153 cases have been reported, according to the CDC.

Contact Kathleen McGrory at kmcgrory@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8330. Follow @kmcgrory.

Florida records first sexually transmitted Zika case 03/09/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.

  5. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119