Florida calls on Washington to help fight Zika

  • 14/10/2016
Zika virus test tube (AAP)
Zika virus test tube (AAP)

Florida has announced a new area of Zika transmission in the Miami region and called on Washington for funding to help fight the outbreak.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said state health officials have confirmed that local transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus is occurring in a new small area in Miami-Dade County, where the state believes two women and three men have been infected by the virus.

The governor said the state's health department believes Zika transmission is only occurring in Miami-Beach and in the new area, which covers about one square mile (2.6 square km).

Zika, which is spread primarily by mosquitoes but also sexually, is a concern for pregnant women and their partners because the virus has been liked with a series of birth defects including microcephaly, marked by small head size and underdeveloped brains that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

Last month, US health officials urged pregnant women to consider putting off all nonessential travel to Miami due to the Zika virus.