Monday, February 8, 2016

Daily Updates Planned on Zika Virus from Florida Surgeon General


Tallahassee, FL - In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of Zika virus, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong will issue a Zika virus update each week day at 2 p.m. Updates will include a CDC-confirmed Zika case county by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.

County
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Broward
2
Hillsborough
3
Lee
2
Miami-Dade
6
Osceola
1
Santa Rosa
1
St. Johns
1
Total
16

All cases are travel-associated. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Florida. None of the confirmed cases involve pregnant women. For more information on the Zika virus, click here.

State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong 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:
  • Last week, Governor Scott directed State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong to issue a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the counties of residents with travel-associated cases of Zika.
The Declaration currently includes the seven effected counties – Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Santa Rosa and St. Johns – and will be updated as needed. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Last week, Governor Scott asked:
The CDC to provide at least 1,000 Zika antibody tests so the state can test individuals, especially pregnant women, who have traveled to affected areas and had symptoms of Zika. The antibody test allows the state to see if individuals ever had the Zika virus. Florida currently has the capacity to test only 475 people.

The CDC to conduct a conference call within the next two weeks to help train Florida hospital workers - especially OBGYN doctors and those who work with pregnant women - on how Zika is spread, its symptoms, treatments and proper precautions.

The CDC has yet to fulfill either request.

For more information on Zika virus, click here.