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U.S. health officials plan to send a rapid-response team to any community on the mainland and in Hawaii where the mosquito-borne Zika virus begins to be transmitted locally — even if only a single case of infection is confirmed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is prepared to deploy experts to help state and local authorities in monitoring cases, performing laboratory tests and increasing mosquito control as part of a multilevel response plan. The teams of 10-15 people will go only if invited by the state.
The response includes case monitoring to minimize the spread of infection, appropriate testing, prompt investigation and communication with the public, according to a summary of the plan.
U.S. officials are anticipating local cases of Zika infection because the mosquito that is the primary vector is found throughout the South as well as in parts of the Southwest and even Midwest. But they do not expect an explosion of cases, as has been seen in Puerto Rico and some countries in the Caribbean and South America.
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