The Latest on the Zika virus in Florida (all times local):
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs says potential visitors to Florida shouldn’t think twice about coming to the Sunshine State.
Jacob’s jurisdiction covers the Orlando area’s major theme parks in the Orlando area, and she spoke to reporters Friday after Gov. Rick Scott announced that South Florida has the first four cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes in the U.S. mainland.
There have been no mosquito-transmitted cases in central Florida yet. But Orlando was the country’s most visited metro area last year with 66 million tourists, and tourism is Florida’s biggest industry.
Jacobs says Florida’s theme parks have some of the best mosquito control measures in place that she knows of and that the parks are safe.
But she encourages visitors to take precautions such as wearing bug spray and getting rid of any standing water they may have.
Florida’s governor says the state has concluded that four mysterious Zika infections likely came from mosquitoes in the Miami area.
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for Zika. But he says one woman and three men in Miami-Dade and Broward counties likely contracted the virus through mosquito bites.
More than 1,650 Zika infections have been reported in the U.S., but the four patients in Florida would be the first not linked to travel outside the U.S. mainland.
Scott says health officials believe the infections occurred in a small area just north of downtown Miami.
Zika primarily spreads through bites from tropical mosquitoes. In most people, the virus causes only mild illness, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects for the fetus.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.