- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott and State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong are planning to give an update on Florida’s preparedness efforts relating to the Zika virus.

The briefing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the Hillsborough County Health Department.

Scott declared a health emergency Wednesday in Miami-Dade, Lee, Hillsborough and Santa Rosa counties. At least nine cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been detected in Florida. Health officials believe all of the cases are from people who contracted the disease while traveling to affected countries.

The Zika virus is linked to brain deformities in babies and is causing concern among public health officials worldwide. The virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites, but investigators had been exploring the possibility it could be sexually transmitted.

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