Department of Health Daily Zika Update: Four New Travel-Related Cases
In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health will issue a Zika virus update each week day at 2 p.m. Updates will include a CDC-confirmed Zika case count by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.
There are four new travel-related cases with two in Miami-Dade County, one in Broward County and one in Osceola County. Of the cases confirmed in Florida, eight cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days.
Based on CDC guidance, several pregnant women who have traveled to countries with local-transmission of Zika have received antibody testing, and of those, four have tested positive for the Zika virus. The CDC recommends that a pregnant woman with a history of Zika virus and her provider should consider additional ultrasounds. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas.
Number of Cases (all travel related) by County
Santa Rosa: 1
St. Johns: 1
Cases involving pregnant women*: 4
*Counties of pregnant women will not be shared.
On Feb. 12, Governor Scott directed the State Surgeon General to activate a Zika Virus Information Hotline for current Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future. The hotline, managed by the Department of Health, has assisted 1,114 callers since it launched. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.
All cases are travel-associated. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Florida. For more information on the Zika virus, click here.
The department urges Floridians to drain standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small. A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes. Residents and visitors also need to use repellents when enjoying the Florida outdoors.
More Information on DOH action on Zika:
On Feb. 3, Governor Scott directed the State Surgeon General to issue a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the counties of residents with travel-associated cases of Zika.
The Declaration currently includes the 12 affected counties – Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Santa Rosa, Seminole and St. Johns – and will be updated as needed.
DOH encourages Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; and covering windows with screens.
DOH has a robust mosquito-borne illness surveillance system and is working with the CDC, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and local county mosquito control boards to ensure that the proper precautions are being taken to protect Florida residents and visitors.
Florida currently has the capacity to test 4,219 people for active Zika virus and 1,798 for Zika antibodies.
Federal Guidance on Zika:
According to the CDC, Zika illness is generally mild with a rash, fever and joint pain. CDC researchers are examining a possible link between the virus and harm to unborn babies exposed during pregnancy.
The FDA released guidance regarding donor screening, deferral and product management to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmission of Zika virus. Additional information is available on the FDA website here.
The CDC has put out guidance related to the sexual transmission of the Zika virus. This includes the CDC recommendation that if you have traveled to a country with local transmission of Zika you should abstain from unprotected sex.
For more information on Zika virus, click here.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.