Florida governor declares Zika emergency

The governor declared a state of emergency, and encouraged Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; covering windows with screens; and other basic precautions.

Health officials there believe all of the cases are from people who contracted the virus while travelling to affected countries.

"There are many things we don't know about Zika", he said.

In the executive order, Scott cited nine travel-related cases of the Zika virus in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa Counties.

Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser said that because the virus lives only 5 to 7 days in a person, sexual transmission is not a huge concern.

The news comes only a day after the World Health Organization labeled the virus as a global health emergency so that research on cure and preventive strategies can be hastened.

Experts say it certainly may be possible to pass the virus from person to person through sexual contact but that sexual transmission is probably quite rare and that mosquitoes pose the greatest risk.

"A number of travellers infected with Zika have entered Europe, but the disease has not been transmitted further, as the mosquito is still inactive".

The order authorised the state's agriculture department to boost the use of mosquito spray in those counties, primarily in residential areas.

According to Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the infection Tuesday.

To date, 31 cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the United States spread across 12 states.

- The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and people, but usually spread by mosquitoes.

Few details have been released about the Texas patient, but in the 2008 case, the timing of the wife's infection suggests sexual transmission. The virus has been linked to brain deformities in babies.

Officials said with the Olympics being hosted in Brazil, they're predicting the numbers will rise as travelers make their way to and from the games. The department said testing of several samples from others in the state who have traveled to Zika-infected areas are ongoing. Signs and symptoms of Zika may include a low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, reddening of the eyes, body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting.

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