First Zika Case Confirmed In Lexington

Florida is home to dozens of mosquito species, but the one officials are most concerned about now is Aedes aegypti, the main species that carries the Zika virus.

The city has its first reported case of a baby born with Zika-related birth defects in a local hospital, the city's Health Department reported Friday. Zika infection can also be spread through sexual contact.

More than 1,400 cases of Zika have been reported in the continental United States, but almost all are travel-associated cases, only a few acquired the virus through sex with people who contracted it while traveling overseas.

As of July 15, doctors in New York City had requested tests for more than 2,000 pregnant women who had traveled to areas where there is active transmission of Zika.

The Florida Health Department has begun issuing Zika prevention kits for pregnant women and is working with mosquito control to reduce the population of mosquitoes in the area where the two people were infected.

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Health officials predicted the virus would reach US mosquitoes this summer and have mobilized to keep Zika from spreading beyond isolated clusters of cases. The virus is an intense concern because of the birth defects it can cause, namely microcephaly. Babies with microcephaly sometimes have developmental, intellectual or other problems. Further testing is reportedly necessary before the results can be confirmed. "Local, state and territorial health departments are on the front lines in the fight against Zika", said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD. The Aedes aegypti mosquito has been the main driver of the Zika virus outbreak to date, but Aedes albopictus can also transmit the disease.

The NPR report added that both agencies are trying to rule out other possibilities before they conclude that the two Florida residents got Zika locally - aside from travel, these include possible transmission via sexual intercourse.

There have been 10 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Kentucky. "This is a sad reminder that Zika can have tragic consequences for pregnant women".

The money is Arkansas' part of the $60 million the center is giving to states, cities and territories to battle the virus through increased research efforts, laboratory improvement and improving mosquito control, according to a news release sent Thursday.

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