Reported cases of Zika infection have plunged in Florida this year, sparing the state from further declines in tourist traffic due to the mosquito-borne virus.
This year, the state health department has reported 180 Zika infections in Florida, a fraction of the 1,456 cases reported throughout 2016.
State officials also have determined that Florida has no active zones with ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus.
A large majority of this year’s infections were brought to Florida by people who travel from Zika-transmission zones in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Year to date, the Florida Department of Health has reported 93 new Zika infections this year in tri-county South Florida, well behind the pace of last year, when the number of reported infections totaled 597.
The state health department also reported that the year-to-date number of pregnant women with the Zika infection is 101 statewide. The number last year totaled 299.
County-level mosquito control agencies and health departments have hosted community events to discuss such Zika-avoidance tips as using mosquito repellant and dumping standing water from flower pots and other small containers. [Tampa Bay Times] – Mike Seemuth