top story

Locally transmitted case of the Zika virus reported in Manatee County

  • 0

BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - A case of Zika has been detected in Manatee County. "It makes me pretty nervous because it's a pretty serious issue," said James Mitchell, a Bradenton resident.

Mitchell just found out about the Bradenton couple who recently contracted the Zika virus, it's the first reported case in Florida this year. Health officials say a woman was infected following a mosquito bite in Cuba, then a mosquito in the backyard of their Bradenton home bit her then her partner, transmitting the Zika virus. Mark Latham Director of the Manatee County Mosquito Control District tells us folks around the Suncoast don't need to be too concerned about this.

"We're right at the end of the mosquito season, this particular species of mosquito that transmits the disease is really a tropical mosquito and populations are dropping rapidly now," said Latham.

Officials say because of HIPPA law, the exact location of where this happened can't be disclosed.  The Mosquito Control District inspected the area, then had a fog truck come into the neighborhood.  When it was confirmed on October 6th that it was Zika, a helicopter was sent in to spray the area as well.  Bradenton Resident Mildred Long says because of all the mosquito control work the county does and the awareness of her neighborhood, she's not concerned with this Zika case.

"All of my neighbors have been diligent about walking around the houses and seeing that we don't have standing water, I'm not too worried right now," said Long.

We're being told the couple is doing fine.  They did have some mild symptons similar to the flu.  For James Mitchell and his partner, they say they are now going to be a little more proactive when it comes to using bug spray.

"You just never know," said Mitchell.  "I know it's like one in a million but you never know it can happen to you."

The Florida Department of Health says, "while we do not have any area of ongoing, active transmission of Zika at this time, it is important for residents and visitors to remain vigilant.  This single case is a prudent reminder of that.  Everyone should do their part to eliminate breeding sites by draining or dumping standing water.  We should all also wear repellent or cover skin with clothing to prevent mosquito bites.

For any questions or concerns regarding mosquitoes or the Zika virus, you can call the Manatee County Mosquito Control District at 941-722-3720.