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The Florida Department of Health says they now believe four cases of Zika being investigated in South Florida were contracted in the U.S.
The Department of Health said it also believes there is an active transmission of the Zika virus in one small area in Miami-Dade County, north of downtown.
No mosquitoes trapped have tested positive yet for the Zika virus, but the department believes there are infected mosquitoes in the area after one woman and three men in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties contracted the virus.
More than 1,650 Zika infections have been reported in the U.S., but the four patients in Florida would be the first not linked to travel outside the U.S. mainland.
Zika primarily spreads through bites from tropical mosquitoes. In most people, the virus causes only mild illness, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects for the fetus.
"If you live in this area and want to be tested, I urge you to contact the county health department which stands ready to assist you," Florida Governor Rick Scott said Friday.
Gov. Scott urged pregnant women or women thinking of becoming pregnant who live in the impacted area to contact their OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika Prevention Kit.
Gov. Scott has directed the Department of Health to immediately work with commercial pest companies to increase spraying and mosquito control.
"Floridians can do their part by draining standing water surrounding their homes, as it can serve as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting the virus," Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said Friday.
OneBlood said Friday that effective immediately, it will test blood donated through OneBlood's services in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina for Zika virus.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
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