Tropical Depression may increase rate of Zika infections in Florida

Mike Finnegan

Tropical Depression Nine is not only expected to carry severe weather into the Caribbean, but to bring increased fears of the Zika virus as well. 

As of Sunday, the Alabama WX Weather Blog reports that the depression is slated to head northeast and hit mainland Florida by Thursday. Meteorologists at the site have approximated top wind speeds of the storm to be at a sustained speed of 35 miles per hour. 

The key concern related to the Zika virus is the issue of large amounts of water remaining still in the heat after Hurricane Gaston dumps its water in Florida. Scientists have identified warm, stagnant water as a breeding group for Zika borne mosquitoes, and with more than 600 cases of confirmed Zika in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is urging citizens to take precaution. 

Of these 600 cases, 43 of them have been transmitted locally; meaning a mosquito in Florida bit the infected person, rather than the virus being contracted while traveling abroad.

Apart from the danger of Zika that Tropical Depression Nine brings, the storm is not predicted to become too violent once it hits mainland Florida. Heavy rainfall is expected for the Florida Keys, but no serious preparations are being made in the hurricane-prone state.