Local Reactions to Zika Virus outbreak

"This is not just a Florida issue. This is a U.S. issue. It's a national issue. We're just at the front of it."

Florida Health Officials confirmed Friday four people in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are infected with Zika by local mosquitoes.  Florida Governor Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, and the State Surgeon General have all weighed in on the virus, but the CW55’s Hayley Minogue took to the streets of Pensacola to find out how people locally were reacting.

It seems like everyone in the state of Florida is talking about the mosquito-born illness, but what exactly they’re saying about Zika is very different.

Governor Rick Scott asked for help Friday after announcing four people in Florida are infected with the Zika virus after being bitten by mosquitoes in their area.

“The Federal Government needs to do their part,” said Governor Rick Scott.  “This is not just a Florida issue.  This is a U.S. issue.  It’s a national issue.  We’re just at the front of it.”

Health officials believe one woman and three men were infected within a one square mile area near downtown Miami.

Fighting Zika

“Testing of mosquitoes in this area has been happening in this area, this small area, for about 2 weeks,” said Governor Scott.  “While no mosquito traps have tested positive for the Zika virus, the Department of Heath is aggressively testing people in the affected area to ensure there are no other cases of this virus.  So we’ve not, as we’ve tested the mosquitoes, there’s no, we have not found any mosquitoes that we’ve tested thru the traps that have the Zika virus.”

Senator Marco Rubio also called for party unity and federal help for Florida.

“We now know that there are mosquitos in the state of Florida that are carrying the Zika virus and 4 Floridians have been affected,” said Senator Rubio.  “This problem will only get worse, not better unless we get ahead of it. This is why I supported the President’s request for $1.9 billion. This is why I supported the bipartisan compromise the Senate passed of $1.1 billion. This is why I supported the House/Senate compromise of $1.1 billion.”

Here in Pensacola, people are reacting differently to the Zika virus.

“I am not worried at all about it,” said Rebecca Beard, who lives in Pensacola.  “I was a little shocked that everybody is so taken aback.  it just reminds me of the ebola scare pretty much so… I’m not worried at all.”

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2015, file photo, 10-year-old Elison nurses his 2-month-old brother Jose Wesley, who was born with microcephaly, at their house in Poco Fundo, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, that it has found the strongest evidence so far of a possible link between a mosquito-borne virus and a surge of birth defects in Brazil. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

One man said even though he doesn’t have a pregnant wife of children, he is concerned.

“We’re as much a part of each other as we are ourselves,” said John McBay.  “There’s a oneness that connects us all, so if someone else is suffering, we too, if we choose to, suffer, so even though I don’t have kids, it could be an epidemic.”

Over 2,000 Floridians have been tested for the Zika virus.  At this time, health officials believe the virus is contained to a small area, but they are going to keep investigating.  Fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes are the most common symptoms, but 80 percent of people who have the virus don’t show symptoms.  Officials are saying to be aware, wear sleeves, stay away from standing water and avoid being out at night.

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