- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

MIAMI (AP) - The Latest on the Zika virus in Florida (all times local):

4 p.m.

Two more cases of the Zika virus have been found in two additional Florida counties.

State health officials said Friday that a case of the Zika virus was found in Osceola County, outside Orlando, and one in St. Johns County, near Jacksonville.

The new cases bring Florida’s total count to 14 in seven counties. The Zika virus has also been found in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties. All the cases have been travel related. No cases of transmittal have been reported in Florida.

The virus causes fever, rash and achy joints. It is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes.

In Brazil, health officials are investigating a possible connection between the virus and babies born with brain defects and abnormally small heads.


5 a.m.

Florida’s history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus.

In 2014, chikungunya (chih-kihn-GUHN’-yuh), a virus spread by the same species of mosquito as Zika, infected a million people in the Caribbean. While 452 travel-related cases were documented in Florida that year, just 11 people contracted the virus in the state.

Last year, no locally acquired cases of chikungunya were reported, though 73 people picked up the virus while traveling.

Florida’s warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travelers make it vulnerable to the Zika virus. Local governments aggressively urge people to dump or cover anything on their property that holds water. Door-to-door inspections have increased in neighborhoods where 12 cases of Zika were reported.

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