Experts: Herd immunity outside US slows Zika in Florida

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Zika virus ravages the testes of male mice, sharply reducing sperm counts and fertility, said a study that raises a new specter about its threat to people. The mouse results appear in a paper released Monday, Oct. 31, by the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

MIAMI (AP) – Health officials say a drop in Zika cases in the Caribbean and South America has helped slow the spread of the mosquito-borne virus in Florida this year.

The Miami Herald reports that experts say herd immunity likely has contributed to Zika’s decline outside the continental United States.

Dr. Henry Walke of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who were infected with Zika can’t be infected again, which reduces the amount of the virus that is circulating.

However, experts warn that herd immunity elsewhere won’t stop the virus from re-emerging in this country.

That has happened in Florida with other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue fever in recent years.

So far this year, Florida health officials have reported a total of 135 Zika cases. None have been linked to mosquitoes in the state.

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