WASHINGTON TIMES — The Food and Drug Administration told two of Florida’s most-populous counties to stop collecting blood until they are able to screen each donated unit for Zika, citing fears that mosquitoes are finally spreading the virus on the U.S. mainland.
The advice to Miami-Dade and Broward counties is in direct response to four mysterious cases that don’t appear to be linked to travel.
“These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States,” the FDA said.
Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been able to link all 1,657 Zika cases in the states and D.C. back to travelers from hard-hit Latin America, plus one case of accidental laboratory transmission.
The disease typically spreads by mosquito bite, however, and federal and state officials have been girding for a localized outbreak as summer temperatures climb and the insect’s population flourishes.