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Courtesy Zach Skow(NEW YORK) -- While his rescue may have been “typical”, Hooch is far from a run-of-the-mill dog.

When Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue took the dog from a shelter three years ago, he weighed half of what he does now and was suffering from a bad case of pneumonia. His ears had been sheared off, leaving him with an infection. But all of this seemed minor once the veterinarian finally opened Hooch’s mouth and made a horrifying discovery -– his tongue had been removed.

Hooch had been a victim of severe abuse, and some of Marley’s Mutts’ social media followers urged the rescue organization to euthanize the dog, but founder Zach Skow immediately recognized Hooch’s capacity to persevere and lead a normal life.

“We don’t treat him specially and we don’t enable him to feel sorry for himself, which is how he’s become such an incredible dog,” Skow told ABC News of his beloved canine. Skow eventually adopted Hooch from his rescue, and now refers to him as both his spirit-animal and his wingman.

Hooch’s lack of tongue made eating nearly impossible, but through experimentation and determination, Skow and his team developed an effective technique. To feed Hooch, Skow pours hot water over dry food, rolls it into a ball, and places it in the back of his mouth.

“It's the most therapeutic thing. If you’re feeling lost inside of yourself or feeling sorry for yourself -- all those things that tend to happen to us because of the rigors of life -- if you take the time to feed Hooch, nothing will snap you out of your [rut] like feeding that dog,” Skow said, noting the perspective his dog provides.

Staying cool is also a challenge for Hooch, since dogs rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. And though less detrimental to his health, Hooch’s tongueless mouth is also defenseless against drool.

But perhaps most remarkable of all the obstacles Hooch has overcome, is how he has managed to put his trauma behind him and embrace people.

“He could choose to have [his past] control him, but he doesn’t,” Skows said of his dog's admirable aptitude for people. “He’s a powerful reminder to get out of your pity party and to live.”

Though he is not an officially certified therapy dog, Hooch and Skow take regular trips to local organizations where Hooch works with autistic children, the homeless, and other individuals who could use some canine companionship.

Skow notes that Hooch is especially good with nonverbal autistic children -– a particularly difficult task for most dogs -– because he is able to stay calm when the kids get excited and can adapt to the abnormal body language. His connections with the children are so powerful, in fact, that one of the nonverbal children even began saying Hooch’s name, according to Skows.

Hooch’s work with the community has recently earned him the coveted Emerging Heroes Award from the American Humane Society.

“He’s a testament to how we all ought to live,” Skows said. “A lot of times we search for examples of how to be resilient, and he’s a living, breathing, drooling example of that.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pregnant women should be tested for the Zika virus with 14 days of suspected exposure to the virus or if they exhibit viral symptoms, according to updated guidelines issued Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC previously advised testing pregnant women within one week of exposure to the virus or if they exhibited symptoms of viral infection. Additionally, the CDC is advising pregnant women to use barrier contraception or abstain from sex if their partners, either male or female, were in an area with ongoing Zika transmission.

The revised guidelines were issued after new studies found the virus can remain in the body longer than previously thought, and earlier this month, the CDC documented the first case of female-to-male transmission through sexual contact. Researchers are continuing to learn about how the Zika virus infects and affects in the body of those with the disease.

The news comes as more infants with Zika-related microcephaly have been born in both the U.S. and Europe.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Just weeks before the Olympics are slated to start in the nation at the center of the Zika virus outbreak, researchers have found new evidence about who is likely to contract the disease.

Two studies published Monday help shed light on the virus that the World Health Organization has called a "global health emergency." Yale researchers modeled the risk for people attending the Olympics and found only a small chance that those visiting Rio de Janerio for the Olympics would contract the virus.

Of the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to visit Brazil for the Olympics, researchers found that just three to 37 attendees will contract the virus and then bring it to their home countries, according to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers conducted a mathematical model to understand the risks of an attendee contracting the virus. They examined multiple factors, including the spread of the dengue virus, spread by the same mosquitoes that spread Zika, during the World Cup and found that few people reported illness. They also noted that many travelers are coming from countries where the virus is already spreading.

"The possibility that travelers returning from the Olympics may spread Zika has become a polemic issue that has led to athletes dropping out of the event, and without evidence, undue stigmatization of Brazil. This study provides data, which together with initial findings from Brazilian scientists, show that these concerns may be largely exaggerated," Dr. Albert Ko, co-director of the Yale Global Health Justice Partnership and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the modeling provides more evidence about who is most at risk for public health officials studying the outbreak.

"Any number of us have also been of the opinion of that the Olympics will offer low risk acquisition by people there and having them bring this infection home," he told ABC News Monday. "It's very, very nice to see that a group quietly and rigorously address this in a structured modeling fashion and have come up with an entirely similar conclusion."

Another modeling study published Monday investigated how many pregnant women either had been infected or are likely to be infected by the end of the recent Zika outbreak. The study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, found that as many as 1.65 million pregnant women could be infected by the end of the "first wave of the epidemic."

Researchers from various institutions, including the Department of Biological Sciences and Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, examined past viral outbreaks including chikungunya epidemics that are spread by the same mosquito that spreads the Zika virus to estimate how many pregnant women were likely to be infected. They also looked at different population demographics to estimate how many women were likely to be pregnant.

"Projections such as these have an important role to play in the early stages of an epidemic, when planning for surveillance and outbreak response is actively under way both internationally and locally," the authors wrote in the study.

They did not estimate how many infected pregnant women would give birth to children with microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, which can lead to severe developmental disabilities.

Schaffner pointed out these kinds of modeling studies are important to help react to the virus, but that experts are still unsure if the virus will remain endemic to certain areas after the explosive outbreak or if it will largely die out.

"We look forward to another rigorous modeling study," in this area, he said. "We think Zika infection has been so pervasive" it might cause one big year of infections "and then smoldering cases subsequently."

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Courtesy Derek Mosley(MILWAUKEE) -- A Wisconsin judge is recovering after getting a kidney from an unlikely source: his best friend and fellow judge.

Derek Mosley, 45, was diagnosed two years ago with renal failure. The municipal court judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin knew that the disease could be deadly.

"Kidney disease runs in my family, my father passed away from it and my [grandmother] passed away from it," he told ABC News.

For two years Mosley stayed on an overnight dialysis so that he could work during the day. But the dialysis, done through a tube in his stomach, took a toll.

"I was hooked up on my machine at night," he said. "Essentially you’re sleeping on your back, on a straight back in a straight line...it wasn’t a fun two years."

Mosley said one of the first people he told that he needed a new kidney was fellow municipal court judge, Joann Eiring. The pair have been best friends for 14 years and when Mosley said he needed a kidney Eiring didn't hesitate to offer to get tested.

"She’s my best friend and we’re close and we do lunch a lot," said Mosley. "She was one of the first people I broke it to besides my wife and family."

Mosley said he was skeptical since he and Eiring are different races and different heights.

"Literally we couldn’t be more opposite of each other," said Mosley.

After Eiring was tested she came back a perfect match for her best friend and agreed to give him her kidney.

"I honestly just froze. I thought it was a joke," said Mosley. "I was probably stuttering and I’m never at any loss for words."

The pair underwent the surgery last Wednesday and both are doing well. Eiring is expected to be out of the hospital Monday. Mosley said as soon as the surgery was over he felt better -- and when he got to see his best friend again he was overcome with emotion.

"I lost it, I completely lost it and I started crying because she literally gave me back my life," he said. "She knows that whatever she needs she’s got it. There’s no way you could repay that."

Mosley's doctor, Dr. Michael Zimmerman, Kidney Transplant Program Director at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, said he hoped the case would give hope to others in search of donors.

"Anybody potentially can be a living donor," said Zimmerman. "Size wise, she’s a small Caucasian female donating to a much larger African-American male...doesn’t mean you can’t be a donor."

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Taryn Blair(NEW YORK) — An adorable video captures an Australian baby hearing his mother's voice for the first time and bursting into giggles after he's fitted with a pair of hearing aids.

Jordan Blair was born with hearing loss and failed both of his hearing screenings at the hospital, his mother Taryn Blair told ABC News Monday. The family then went to an audiologist who confirmed that hearing loss runs on the mother's side of the family. In addition, when baby Jordan was only 3 weeks old he got bronchiolitis, which caused fluid to build up in his ears, Blair said.

"He didn't react to a lot," Blair explained, saying that she and her husband feared the worst for their son's hearing.

But last week, the infant was fitted with hearing aids and able to hear clearly for the first time. Blair said when they turned the hearing aids on, "he had this amazing reaction we were so excited to see! He finally laughed which we've never seen before." She added that it brought her husband and her to tears.

Blair also said that her son was born with laryngomalacia (a floppy larynx), which makes it hard for him to breathe, and has endured many other health complications.

"So you can imagine it was lovely to go to this appointment and see him laughing and cooing like a 'normal' baby should," Blair said. She described her son as a "little warrior."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hypnosis is a clinical technique typically used to treat conditions like anxiety and pain but some say it could also help as a parenting tool.

“Hypnosis and parenting is a natural solution,” Lisa Machenberg, a hypnotherapist and mother of three, told ABC News. "You naturally influence your child anyway, let’s learn how to do it with intention."

Machenberg began hypnotizing her own children to help them get through the night without wetting the bed. She now uses it as a tool to help her kids deal with everything from performance anxiety to difficulties focusing.

“My children are able to use logic and reason,” she explained. “They have a form of diligence or perseverance that you don’t see in other children.”

There is no science to support the idea that hypnosis is an effective parenting tool. The method, experts say, should only be done by trained clinicians.

Machenberg charges $125 per hour for her sessions and said she has worked with more than 1,000 kids in her years of practice. She also works with parents on strategies they can try at home and teaches kids self-hypnosis strategies.

Machenberg’s 17-year-old daughter, Rayna, said she has “always known” that her mom used hypnosis on her and said it has had a positive impact on her life.

“Being able to push back on stress and think about it deeply and do self-reflecting was a skill that I'm really grateful that my mom taught me,” she said. “I think it still influences me a lot today and helped me develop into the person I am right now."

ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, whose parents are both clinical hypnotists, said hypnosis works for shaping behavior but the evidence is still out on whether or not it is a good tool for children.

"The evidence on the clinical use is really, really strong," Besser said. "I haven’t seen that kind of evidence for parenting and that bothers me a little bit."

Besser said other strategies parents can use to help their kids perform better include offering praise for good behaviors, using a star chart for school-age kids to track achievements and staying consistent on discipline and expectations.

"Not idle threats," Besser said, adding again that hypnosis should only be done by a trained professional.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is a popular time for home improvement projects, but officials are warning of a danger that many people may not be aware of until it’s too late: spontaneous combustion of common household products used to finish furniture and decks.

Oil-based wood stains and linseed oil can combust and burn even without any spark to initiate the fire, officials say.

Shannon Priddy’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, house was destroyed in 2014 after she says contractors left rags soaked in wood stain under her deck.

“We had no idea that anything like this could happen,” Priddy, who was not injured in the incident, told ABC News.

To demonstrate how easily this can happen, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue in Maryland teamed up with ABC News' Good Morning America on the Lookout to conduct an experiment. GMA put linseed oil on some rags and put them into a box and waited.

Donnie Boyd, a Montgomery County fire inspector, explained just how combustion occurs when linseed oil is left on a cotton rag.

“It actually heats up as it dries. It's a chemical reaction,” he said. “So it spontaneously combusts once it reaches its ignition temperature.”

Two hours into the experiment, a probe recorded a temperature of 204 degrees inside the box, and after four and a half hours, smoke appeared. Nearly six hours into the experiment, the box was burning.

Boyd said ignorance of -- or disregard for -- the issue has contributed to many fires in Montgomery County. He urged everyone to carefully read the labels on products used to do housework and home improvement projects.

The label of the container used for the GMA on the Lookout experiment read, "CAUTION! CAN CAUSE SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. Boiled Linseed Oil generates heat as it dries, which can cause the spontaneous combustion of materials contacted by this product. Oily rags, waste, and other oily materials contacted by Boiled Linseed Oil can cause spontaneous combustion fires if not handled properly.”

Homeowners should also keep rags that have absorbed oils, such as linseed oil, in well-covered metal cans and make sure the rags are thoroughly dried before collection or transport.

It’s a message that Priddy hopes to spread.

“I would never want it to happen to anyone else,” she said.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

You can never be reminded too often about the dangers of sunburn, so some educators are trying to start early with kids.

A new course called Sunbeatables is being added to some schools to teach children about sun safety. The program is part of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sunburns in childhood increases a person's chances of developing skin cancer later in life. If you want to begin teaching your child now, here are some things to start with:

  • Use sunscreen everyday on the face and hands.
  • Remember to use hats and clothing to protect your skin.
  • Never use indoor tanning salons. In 2009, the World Health Organization increased its warning of such tanning devices, stating that they are known to cause cancer.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Consuming alcoholic beverages, even in low quantities, increases the risk for seven types of cancer, according to a new review of research conducted by Professor Jennie Connor of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

The review, published in the journal Addiction, supports an association between alcohol consumption and cancers located in the oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast.

"Epidemiological and biological research on alcohol and cancer was reviewed and summarized," Connor wrote about her methods for the review. Her paper draws on an analysis conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The review finds a causal link between alcohol and cancer, which is stronger than "the long-recognized association" between drinking and cancer, Connor says in a report about the study on The University of Otago's website says. "An association means there is a relationship of some kind between the two variables.

"A causal association means there is evidence that alcohol consumption directly causes cancer," she wrote.

Connor’s review makes reference to evidence that alcohol caused roughly half a million deaths from cancer in 2012, and as many as 5.8 per cent of cancer deaths worldwide. Heavier drinking leads to a greater risk, Connor writes, but a threat still exists for drinkers who consume even a moderate to low amount of alcohol.

The findings also cast doubt on previous theories that moderate drinking protects against cardiovascular disease, suggesting that the correlation is not strong.

Her review urges people to take the dangers of drinking seriously and to and avoid what she calls "misinformation" about alcohol's link to cancer.

"Some confusion and skepticism about whether alcohol causes cancer may seem understandable, but in some cases doubt is also being generated by dissemination of misinformation, which undermines research findings and contradicts evidence-based public health messages," the review says.

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Kate-Madonna Hindes(ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- It wasn't until Kate-Madonna Hindes' second brush with cancer that made her finally finish the paperwork needed to find her birth mother.

She was diagnosed with anal precancer after battling "multiple instances of cervical cancer in my life," the St. Paul, Minnesota, woman told ABC News. Doctors had even told her she had tested positive for an abnormal BRCA2 gene, meaning she had a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer.

"I wanted to get some medical questions answered," the mother-of-two, 34, added. "I told myself I had to really look deeper into this because I have two beautiful children and I want to live a long happy life."

Three years after starting her paperwork, Hindes finally completed it six months ago. Because of "a lot of internal staff changes" at Children's Home Aid in Illinois she didn't hear back from them until last month.

"I received a call June 15 and they said, 'Kate, are you sitting down?' And I said, 'Yes,' and they said, 'We found your file. Not only do we have a picture, we have a letter from her as well."

The social media and public relations' strategist said it took her only 12 minutes to decide to create a graphic, using her birth mother's photo, and turn to Facebook for help.

"My cancer survivor group is on Facebook. That's the first place I go to connect with somebody, so it was natural," she said.

And it worked. Within two hours, word had traveled to her birth mother, Aimée Sordelli, who lives in Berwyn, Illinois.

"I received a message from a relative saying, 'Your picture is on Facebook,'" Sordelli recalled. "And I said, 'OK, well, there’s a lot of pictures of me on Facebook.' And she said, 'No, not this picture.'"

Sordelli said that after seeing the throwback photo she realized that "only one person should have that picture." She immediately messaged Hindes and said, "'I think I’m the woman you’re looking for.'"

It was a full circle moment for Sordelli, 52, who is adopted herself. She placed Hindes up for adoption after having her at "16 or 17 years old," and being raised in a very religious family. In fact, her adoptive father was an episcopal priest. And unlike her search for her birth mother, which ended in disappointment because her birth mother did not want to meet, Sordelli was thrilled to finally met her daughter face to face.

"I wanted her to make the choice to find me. I didn't want to push myself," Sordelli explained. "She has parents. They are her parents; they raised her. I’m just the birth mother. I wanted her to find me if she chose, when she’s ready."

She added that she gave Hindes "up for adoption not because I didn’t love you, but because I did."

"I did not have the means nor the money to take care of her and I thought she deserved a better life," Sordelli, who never had any additional children, continued.

Sordelli had battled cancer twice herself, having been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first time was when she was 17 years old.

"Heritage is so important," Hindes. "It’s so important for us to learn about the science of our bodies. If we don't have that I don't think we’re living our fullest life."

The two women met for the very first time Friday inside Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport. Sordelli flew in from Illinois to spend a few days with her daughter and meet her grandchildren. She's just in time for her grandson Daniel's fourth birthday party.

"The kids adore her," Hindes gushed. "Anything that Aimee wants to be involved in, I want her to be here."

And Sordelli is already planning her next trip to St. Paul.

"It's such a wonderful love story. It really is," she said emphatically. "It’s come full circle and I’m just overwhelmed with joy."

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iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- You may be headed to the pool to stay out of the heat this summer, but be careful of a pool parasite plaguing some public pools.

A parasite called crypto has appeared in many Wake County, North Carolina's public pools with two dozen cases of a gastrointestinal illness being reported.

Health officials were working to hyper-chlorinate the 1,100 public pools in the county to get rid of the parasite.

"I would not want them to be going into the pool knowing this is going around," Loralee Koltusky, a mother of a lifeguard in Raleigh, told ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed inspections from tens of thousands of public swimming pools and found that almost 80 percent had at least one health or safety violation. One in eight pools had violations so serious they were immediately closed, affecting many kiddie pools.

One thing you can do before you take a dip; see if you can see the bottom of the pool. If the water is too cloudy, it's reason for concern. You can also ask pool employees how often the water is tested, since high temperatures kill the chlorine in a pool faster.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A nonmedical therapy may be as useful for depressed patients as the "gold standard" of therapy.

According to new research published in The Lancet, Behavioral Activation (BA) is a simple and inexpensive talk therapy that is as effective at treating depression as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The difference between the two is that BA is "outside-in" (change the way you act outside to change the way you feel inside), and CBT is 'inside-out' (focus on the way a person thinks). Currently, there is limited access to CBT -- it's expensive, has long wait times, and requires trained professionals.

Between 2012 and 2014, researchers at the University of Exeter in the U.K. recruited 440 adults who met the criteria for major depressive disorder. Neither method fared worse than the other in reduction of depression symptoms, and using BA resulted in a financial savings to clinical providers of 21 percent.

Although the study was conducted in the U.K. and may not be generalizable to the U.S., it may be a useful nonmedical therapy for depressed patients with further studies done as well.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A Virginia woman is celebrating after winning big six times in her state lotto.

Donna Boyd-Warren won $150,000 from six winning tickets in Virginia's Cash5 lotto. Each ticket had the same numbers and was worth $25,000.

Boyd-Warren, of North Chesterfield, Virginia, has been in remission from breast cancer for more than five years but lingering nerve pain from chemotherapy has left her unable to work outside the home. She and her husband plan on using the winnings to make repairs around the house and donate to their church and cancer research.

"Life goes on as usual for that I'm happy," she said. "We were blessed with the winnings."

 Boyd-Warren, also a Vietnam-era veteran, said she usually buys lottery tickets twice a week for fun.

"Maybe two times a week I pick six sets of the same numbers," she said. "I look on the lotto online and pick the numbers that happen the most."

Boyd-Warren said she was thankful for the winnings, but that her experience with cancer meant that "most of all I'm thankful to be alive."

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College of Charleston(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- "What does it mean when the rest of your life may be measured in weeks?"

That's the start of Alison Piepmeier's last column for the Charleston City Paper.

Piepmeier has been battling a brain tumor for seven years, but last month she wrote that her tumor had gotten progressively bigger and she no longer had treatment options. She's currently in hospice care.

But Piepmeier's cancer hasn't stopped her from doing what she loves: writing.

Piepmeier continues to file stories using voice recognition software and help from her mother and husband of two months, Brian McGee.

Piepmeier told ABC News via email that she really wanted to write one last column.

"This column was especially hard to write," she explained. "I've spent years writing about cancer, but also about children, disability, abortion, Down syndrome, homophobia, and other challenging topics. I wanted to finish by writing about things that always matter, but especially those things that matter at the end: love, family, friendship, gratitude, and forgiveness."

"As I feel myself slipping away," she added, "I wanted to say goodbye while I still could."

And Piepmeier, 43, did. She not only mentioned the "many acts of kindness" from family and friends, but also noted "brothers, parents, friends, teachers, students, co-workers, lovers, and readers" and even her editor, Chris Haire. In her goodbye, she also wrote about her daughter Maybelle's "first princess party."

"I am happy, so happy, to have experienced a princess party," she wrote. "I am so sorry there won't be more of them for me, if only because I would never turn down the chance to experience the pure joy of my daughter singing 'Let It Go' over and over."

Even in her final weeks, Piepmeier said she is still looking forward to many of life's joys.

"For the time I have left, I want to be with people I love and who love me," she said. "Because I have so little time left, unfortunately there are more people to see than I can realistically manage. I am sad -- tears are an everyday experience -- but I love being with people who have cared so much for me, who have made my life rich, beautiful, and rewarding."

She added: "I don't presume to know what a next life would be like. I don't even know what to imagine. In a next life, I hope I would be in a place where people would need me, where there is something meaningful to do. A next life without work, without purpose, would be disappointing."

When asked what her legacy might be, Piepmeier replied quite honestly, "Other people get to decide our legacy."

Still, she said she hopes her legacy will live on through her students "at the College of Charleston and at Vanderbilt."

"At the center of my heart, though, are my friends and my family. What I have left them is what matters most to me," she concluded.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — This week Florida Health Department officials announced they were investigating two cases of Zika infection in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties — the first time the virus may have been transmitted in the U.S. by mosquitoes.

If the two cases in Florida are confirmed as being locally-acquired Zika, it will likely reach the threshold set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to label the area as a "local Zika transmission area." The CDC has different guidelines depending on if there is a single case of local transmission or if there is widespread local transmission.

The Florida Health Department has begun issuing Zika prevention kits for pregnant women and is working with mosquito control to reduce the population of mosquitoes in the area where the two people were infected.

In the event of a locally transmitted Zika outbreak, the CDC will advise community health departments to intensify surveillance and mosquito control and reach out to residents to prevent further infections. The CDC will also provide guidance about Zika infection for anyone living in the affected area.

The CDC urges health departments to work with blood donation centers so donor guidelines can be revised to protect the blood supply from Zika-infected infusions.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News that mosquito control can help stop an outbreak by significantly reducing the mosquito population. U.S. health officials had anticipated some small local outbreaks of the virus, he said.

"We expect introductions...and we anticipated that there might be some limited spread locally because we can't swat every mosquito," he explained.

Schaffner noted that the CDC can assist health departments with proper testing if needed.

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