Officials in Florida have confirmed 4 cases of locally transmitted Zika Virus, marking the first time the virus has been transmitted by native a mosquito species, instead of contracting it abroad or through sexual contact.
All 4 cases occurred within a roughly 1 square mile area North of Miami. Of those infected, 3 were within Miami-Dade County and another was located in the neighbouring Broward County, both counties are the most densely populated in Florida.
Despite these cases being the first instances of local contraction by mosquito, more than 1.650 people in the US have been infected by the Zika Virus. The vast majority of those cases were, however, contracted while traveling to countries where the virus is prevalent or, in a few rare cases, the virus was transferred through sexual contact.
The Centre for Disease Control reportedly announced that; the virus was likely transmitted weeks ago, more cases are likely to emerge and that there are currently no plans to restrict travel to the region.
Additionally, President Obama was reportedly directed all necessary resources to Florida to help beat the virus and the White House has criticised congress for failing to pass legislation that would help fund the fight against the Zika Virus.
While the Zika Virus is relatively harmless in most people, and none of the 4 infected have been sent to hospital, it has the potential to transfer from a pregnant mother to her unborn child. If the child becomes infected it may result in the development of microcephaly, which causes shrinking of the head and results in intellectual disabilities or death.