Texas Health Officials Confirming Zika-Related Death In Newborn

Florida has four new cases of people likely infected with Zika through mosquito bites in Miami, Governor Rick Scott said on Tuesday, as he urged Congress to reconvene and approve additional money to combat the virus.

The Florida Department of Health has identified four new people who have tested positive for the Zika virus in Miami-Dade County, bringing the new total of locally-transmitted cases to 21.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Democratic presidential candidate plans to tour the Borinquen Medical Center, a health clinic close to the Wynwood area where 16 non-travel related cases have been diagnosed.

The Zika virus is typically transmitted via mosquitoes, and is especially unsafe during pregnancy because it can cause the birth defect microcephaly - where babies are born with a small head and underdeveloped brain.

The death of the infant is the first Zika-related death in the state the department confirmed.

All seven had calcium build-up in the brain, bolstering the theory that Zika destroys the brain cells of a fetus when a woman is infected during pregnancy.

According to a report from USA Today, the CDC says 15 babies in the US have been born with Zika-related birth defects.

Ruis said the health district is in the process of sending out Zika updates and guidelines to educational institutions, health care providers and other organizations in the area.

Florida is so far the only U.S. state to report that mosquitoes are actively transmitting the virus. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett doubted the efficiency of that program and said he would work with local and state officials as well as corporate partners to get the spray directly to residents. An infant with Zika-linked micrwaocephaly died soon after being born.

Zika was first detected in Brazil past year and has spread rapidly in the Americas. Most people only experience mild symptoms. Zika can also be transmitted sexually. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned expectant mothers to steer clear of the city's Wynwood neighborhood. Florida now has the capacity to test 6,053 people for active Zika virus and 1,691 for Zika antibodies. Although there have been more than 1,800 diagnosed cases of the virus in the US, the vast majority of them were contracted outside of the country. Almost 1,000 pregnant women in the continental US and territories have been infected with Zika. These infections are thought to have occurred because the patients' partners had traveled to countries where Zika is circulating, the CDC said.

Vanessa Coleman

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