Scott urges vigilance to combat Zika


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the state's buggy, rainy season approaching, Gov. Rick Scott appeared Monday in Miami to urge Floridians to take precautions against the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Miami-Dade County was the focus of much of the state's efforts last year to combat Zika, which is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects.

Florida reported 284 locally transmitted cases of the virus in 2016 and another 1,099 cases classified as "travel related," meaning people were infected elsewhere and brought the disease into the state, according to Department of Health numbers.

Scott issued a statement Monday urging Floridians to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed and to use bug spray to prevent mosquito bites.

"Florida has only had two isolated cases of local Zika transmission this year and there are not currently any identified areas with active Zika transmission, which is good news," Scott said after hosting a roundtable discussion in Miami. "However, it is crucial that we continue to work together to remain vigilant and take precautions to stay ahead of this virus."