Zika Hits Florida, Researchers Say It Could Be Moving North

By Yessenia Funes Jul 22, 2016

The Zika virus appears to have officially arrived in the continental United States.

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed two cases in Florida: one Tuesday (July 19) in Miami-Dade County and another yesterday (July 21) in Broward County.

The Florida Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate whether these possible non-travel cases indicate that mosquitoes in the U.S. are infected with the virus.

The health departments in both counties have posted tips for preventing mosquito bites, and officials are distributing Zika prevention kits for expectant mothers. The kits include condoms, mosquito repellent and water tablets designed to kill mosquito larvae.

According to The Washington Post, this news comes on the heels of Brazilian researchers discovering the virus in the culex mosquito, which is more common than the Aedes aegypti that has been connected with the disease. Officials originally believed the mosquito bite- and sexually-transmitted virus was limited to the more tropical regions of the country, predominantly the South. But if the culex mosquito is now carrying the virus, more temperate parts of the country could be at risk, too. The researchers stressed, however, that more study is needed before the data can be considered conclusive.