DAILY SIGNAL — As some world-class athletes pass up the opportunity of a lifetime to compete at the Rio Olympics due to worries about the Zika virus, the concerns and fears now are striking closer to home. Zika-carrying mosquitoes have come to America.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning that 10 more people in the Miami area, for a total of 14, appear to have contracted the virus from mosquitoes in the U.S.
To date, more than 1,300 people in America reportedly have been infected with the virus either through travel outside the country or sexual contact with a partner who had traveled.
As worrisome as that has been, it is easy to discount the threat: As long as I don’t travel to the wrong places or have sexual contact with anyone who has, I am perfectly safe.
Well, the “battlefield” just changed.
Top Florida health officials announced Friday that mosquitoes likely infected four people in Miami with the Zika virus. These were the first documented cases of mosquito-borne transmission in the continental United States.
In announcing 10 more cases today, Scott asked Monday for a federal emergency response team to help contain the spread of the virus in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.
An emergency response team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help Florida officials in their investigation, sample collection, and mosquito control efforts, AP reported. The White House said the team would be deployed to Florida “in short order.”
Officials in Florida are testing mosquitoes near downtown Miami, where the four patients live, and are offering tests to residents of the area.
As we have discussed before in The Daily Signal, Zika symptoms generally are so mild that those infected may be unaware of it. And even those with more acute symptoms generally recover easily.
• AS ZIKA SPREADS IN US, OBAMA HOLDS BACK ON AVAILABLE FUNDING — DAILY SIGNAL
• FLORIDA COUNTY APPROVES AERIAL SPRAYING FOR MOSQUITOES IN RESPONSE TO ZIKA OUTBREAK — WASHINGTON TIMES
• WHITE HOUSE: ZIKA MONEY IS HALF DEPLETED — THE HILL