Florida Department of Health confirms travel-related Zika Virus case in Indian River County

By: Meghan McRoberts

NDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a travel-related case of the Zika Virus in Indian River County.

It is the first case on the Treasure Coast this year.

Indian River County Mosquito Control tested the area where the infected person lives in late March, and found there was little standing water or risk for the virus to spread.

In March, the case was only considered possible Zika virus.

Within the last week, The Florida Department of Health received confirmation that test results were positive for the Zika virus.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and state health officials are renewing the fight to keep the virus at bay, even with drier than normal conditions.

“These types of mosquitos like to live close to people. We are still concerned that a small amount of water…is sufficient for breeding to occur. So, everyone has to stay vigilant,” said state Surgeon General Celeste Philip.

Even though the weather has been drier than usual, mosquito control directors say that can bring mosquitos closer to your home.

Using your sprinklers and hoses more often to keep plants and grass green can increase the risk for standing water near your home.

If conditions elsewhere are dry, mosquitos could be left hunting for breeding ground on your property.

Vero Beach resident Casey Steil is spending more time taking care of his lawn, due to dry conditions.

“Definitely watering a lot more. I’ve used my sprinkler system more this last three months than I have the last couple years probably.”

Because of that, he’s also watchful for standing water.

Philip says water in something as small as a bottle cap can be a mosquito breeding ground.

“Mosquitos can get really bad here,” said Steil. “You can definitely breed them if you’re not careful.”

So far this year, 50 cases of travel-related Zika have been confirmed in the state.

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