- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Florida Department of Health announced the first sexually transmitted case of Zika virus but emphasized that no transmission of Zika through mosquitoes took place in the state.

Two individuals tested positive for the Zika virus; however, it is believed one partner had contracted the virus in Cuba and then passed it to the other through sexual transmission, the department said in a statement Tuesday.

There are 118 reported cases of Zika in Florida in 2017, according to the health department. The health body additionally listed a number of confirmed Zika cases and the possible contamination situation.

The numbers aren’t mutually exclusive, but include 90 cases of Zika related to travel, six infections acquired in 2016 but testing took place in 2017, 22 individuals who likely contracted the virus sometime in 2016 and were tested in 2017, and 81 pregnant women with lab evidence of Zika in 2017.

In April, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that no mosquitoes in the state were positive for Zika, adding that the department had tested 90,000 mosquitoes.

Zika is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. There are little to no symptoms and the virus can be transmitted sexually from an infected person. The virus is especially dangerous for pregnant women and can result in a number of birth defects including preterm labor, abnormal brain growth, among others.

The National Institutes of Health started a phase II trial of a Zika vaccine in March with thousands of human participants in the U.S. Scientists hope to complete the study by 2019.

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