Florida Zika Cases Edge Closer to 1,000; 2 New Tampa Bay Infections Confirmed

Breaking: Two new travel-related Zika cases have been confirmed in the region as the total statewide count stands at 980.

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — The total number of confirmed Zika virus cases in Florida rose to 980 on Tuesday with the confirmation of six new travel-related cases and six new non-travel related cases. The Tampa Bay area’s tally rose by two Oct. 4, as well.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the new travel-related cases include one person each in Hillsborough and Sarasota counties. Four new travel-related cases involving pregnant women were also confirmed on Tuesday.

The non-travel related cases originated in South Florida. Two cases involved exposure in the Miami Beach area. The other four cases involve residents of Miami-Dade County, FDOH said. Where exposure occurred in the latter four cases remains under investigation.

Zika is a mosquito-borne illness that presents with a fever, joint pain and rash. The illness typically goes away within a week, but some cases may require hospitalization. Zika may also be spread through sexual contact, health officials say.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the Zika virus is responsible for causing severe defects in unborn children, including microcephaly, which leaves babies with abnormally small heads and often with brains that do not develop properly.

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