Florida confirms 10 new cases of Zika virus as U.S. total nears 1,000

Florida health officials confirmed on Friday the discovery of 10 new cases of the Zika virus in parts of the state.

The 10 new cases were the largest one-day total announced in the United States since the disease began spreading through Latin America last year, the Guardian reported. Nearly 1,000 people who have been infected with the virus are now living in the U.S., while 246 of those cases have been found in Florida this year.

In light of the recent finding, the Florida Department of Health said it would routinely update the public about new cases of the virus, including those accounted for by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Zika virus is spread primarily via infected Aedes mosquitoes, but can also be passed through “sex with an infected man” or from pregnant woman to a fetus, the CDC stated. The virus in pregnant women can cause birth defects, including microcephaly.

“People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika,” the CDC stated.

Health officials are increasingly concerned about those living in poor, urban areas along the Gulf Coast, where people are less more likely to have broken window screens, limited air conditioning and unsanitary conditions, some health officials recently told the Associated Press.

While the first confirmed case of the Zika virus dates back to 1947, the virus began spreading throughout Latin America in 2015.

In early 2016, the World Health Organization declared the virus a public health threat, making it “likely to continue spreading to new areas.” There is currently no vaccine or medicine to treat Zika, the CDC said.

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