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First Coast Connect: Jacksonville A 'High-Risk' City For Zika

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Currently 10 additional people are believed to have contracted the Zika virus from mosquitoes in Florida.

On Monday’s First Coast Connect, Dr. Mobeen Rathore, of University of Florida Health discussed measures by the state to prevent the spread the disease as well as what Florida residents can do to help protect themselves.

“I think the state has been preparing for this for quite a while and they’re responding in a very robust manner with the resources they have,” Rathore said.

That brings the total to 14 of the mosquito-borne cases in the state, after the first four cases were announced on Friday.

According to a news release from Gov. Rick Scott, all cases are believed to have been contracted in a small area just north of downtown Miami.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to avoid unnecessary travel to the affected area in Miami. Of the 14 people identified, two are women and 12 are men.

Rathore said the Zika threat may be closer to home than many may realize.

“Jacksonville has been identified as a high-risk city, so my advice would be to clean your front and back yards,” Rathore said. “And I think we have to be prepared to ask mosquito control to spray neighborhoods. I think we have to demand that almost.”

Scott is calling on the CDC to activate an Emergency Response Team to assist Florida health officials with investigation and mosquito-control.

Anyone seeking information on Zika can call the Zika Virus Information Hotline at 1-855-622-6735.