The state Department of Health in Monroe County has confirmed the first case of travel-related Zika virus in the Florida Keys. According to health officials, the virus was contracted through travel in the Caribbean and the patient resides in the vicinity of the Marathon airport. The suspected infection was reported in late July and officially confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Infection today.
The Health Department’s Bob Eadie said he’s not surprised Zika has finally arrived in the Keys.
“With so much travel not only by residents, but visiting tourists, this was inevitable,” Eadie said. “I wish it wasn’t true, but it’s not unexpected.”
He also said it’s virtually impossible that the virus has since been transmitted locally.
“There’s almost a non-existent chance that this would have been transmitted to the local population because we got on it so quickly,” he said.
The protocols established in 2009 after the outbreak of Dengue fever between the health department and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District were put into place immediately, he said.
There were 14 new travel-related cases reported today — four in Miami-Dade County, three in Orange County, two in Hernando County, one in Broward County, one in Lee County, and the one in Monroe County. This is Hernando and Monroe counties first travel-related cases of Zika. Two involve pregnant women.
Currently in Florida, there are 369 travel-related infections of Zika in Florida, and 21 non-travel cases of which only six meet the CDC’s case definition.
— Weekly Staff report