First Homegrown Zika Cases Confirmed in America, Likely Carried by Mosquitoes
The first homegrown Zika cases have been confirmed in Florida and are likely to have been caused by mosquitoes infected with the virus.
On Monday, Florida confirmed 10 more homegrown cases of Zika, bringing the number of infections spread by local mosquitoes to 14.
The cases mark the first time the virus has been contracted in people who have not traveled to northern parts of South America and Central America.
The Department of Health and Safety have been going door-to-door in a downtown Miami neighborhood to collect urine samples from residents. The cases have all been linked to one square mile of the north downtown Miami area.
On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged people in the area to get tested. So far, no mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika. However, the Health Department believes they are the cause.
With fears of an outbreak on U.S. soil, it's worth questioning whether insect-fighting repellents on store shelves will be effective.
An Inside Edition investigation conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology Mosquito and Fly Research Unit in Gainesville, Florida, in May discovered that repellents containing DEET were effective in keeping mosquitoes away.
For those that prefer not to use DEET, a popular alternative is mosquito repellents made from natural plants. A lemon eucalyptus oil was effective.
In February, Florida declared a state of emergency following cases of Zika being confirmed in four counties. Those cases were travel-related.