Orange County gets its first case of Zika virus


  • Photo by James Gathany of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Florida has 26 new cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, and to our misfortune, Orange County has one reported infection, according to the Florida Department of Health

All 26 cases in Florida are travel-related, which means people acquired the virus outside the state. None of the cases involve pregnant women, a daily update from the DOH says. 

The symptoms for the Zika virus include a fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, headache and muscle pain, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers are studying the link between the Zika virus and unborn babies after Brazilian health officials reported a possible connection between Zika and the spike in Brazil of microcephaly, a birth defect that causes babies to be born with smaller heads and brains.

"State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong urges Floridians to drain standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small," the update says. "A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes. Residents and visitors also need to use repellents when enjoying the Florida outdoors." 

The DOH says 533 people have called Zika hotline since it was created last Friday, so if you need someone to listen as you panic about the virus, call 1-855-622-6735. 

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