Health officials in Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Saturday confirmed that at least 18 people living in the county have contracted the West Nile virus.
The latest figures followed the county’s mosquito-control chief’s comments last week that this summer’s resurgence of West Nile probably reflected the heavy rains that have caused mosquito populations to explode, the Miami Herald reported. More mosquitoes have meant more mosquito bites, increasing the odds of infection.
The news came as Florida has been experiencing a spike in the novel coronavirus. Both Miami-Dade and Broward County on Saturday reported their highest numbers yet.
The county was under a mosquito-borne-illness alert. The health department reported West Nile virus has been the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States. Doctors have warned there were no vaccines to prevent it or medications to treat it.
Miami-Dade’s first two cases of West Nile virus in the current outbreak were detected in May. On June 11, health officials reported two more cases of the virus. On June 25, 10 more residents were confirmed to have the virus.
State coronavirus totals jumped Saturday to over 11,000 cases — a record since the pandemic began, bringing Florida’s caseload over 190,000.
Hospitalizations were up by 585 people and health officials said 14 percent of Floridians have been infected with COVID-19. It was unclear if that number represented current infections or the total number of those who have been infected over time, not accounting for those who have recovered.
In addition, 18 more people died in Florida, as the death toll ticked up over 3,700 people.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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