Mysterious Zika Cases Raise US Mosquito Fears

Florida officials are investigating four cases of Zika that do not appear to be related to travel, raising fears mosquitoes in the US are spreading the virus.

Mysterious Zika Cases

Up to now, the 1,400 infections reported in the US have been linked to people going to countries with Zika outbreaks in South America and the Caribbean.

Two new cases have been announced in neighbouring Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which raise the possibility of local Zika transmission in the US.

They are in addition to two others in the same areas that may also be non-travel related.

To confirm whether Zika is being transmitted locally, experts look at households and neighbours within a 150-metre radius around the property of the Zika-infected person.

The distance of 150 metres is believed to be the flying range of the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

Zika transmission is defined as two or more cases which are not down to travel or sex with an infected person that occur in a one-mile diameter over a month.

Zika can lead to newborns suffering severe brain-related defects, although the disease causes only a mild illness in most people.

Health officials have predicted that mosquitoes in the US would begin spreading Zika this summer.

As a result, they increased their prevention measures to keep it from spreading beyond isolated clusters.

There have been calls to postpone next month’s Rio Olympics as Brazil is one of the countries worst hit by the virus.

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