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. Romano: Sinkholes take Florida's quirks to a whole 'nother level

    Public Safety

    So all of this — the beaches, palm trees and fresh grouper sandwiches — comes with a few extenuating costs. To live in Florida is to accept a lifestyle of hazards, both peculiar and deadly. Lightning strikes and hurricanes, for example. Alligators and sharks, too. Floods, drug traffickers, spring break and …

    Two days after a sinkhole opened in front of her Spring Hill home in 2014, Linda Fisher packs up to leave for good.
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  3. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  4. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs

     

  5. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.