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Declaration of Public Health Emergency for Zika

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

February 04, 2016

Feb. 4, 2016

Declaration of Public Health Emergency for Zika

Contact:
Communications Office
NewsMedia@flhealth.gov
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. - WHEREAS, Zika fever, a dengue-like illness caused by a flavivirus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, has been diagnosed in Central and South America, Mexico, the Carribbean and other areas in the world. Outbreaks of the fever have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern related to the Zika virus on February 1, 2016; and

WHEREAS, there have been nine confirmed travel-related cases of the Zika virus (none of which have been pregnant women) in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee, and Santa Rosa counties, Florida; and

WHEREAS, the Zika virus is transmitted by a bite from an infected Aedes mosquito and other transmission methods are still being determined; and

WHEREAS, there are reports of infants born with microcephaly and persons contracting neurological disorders including Guillain-Barre Syndrome in areas where Zika virus has been diagnosed; and

WHEREAS, although Florida's current nine Zika cases were travel-related , Aedes mosquitos are common in Florida;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS, Surgeon General of Florida and State Health Officer, by virtue of Executive Order Number 16-29 of Governor Rick Scott and the authority vested in me by section 381 .00315, Florida Statutes, do hereby declare that a public health emergency exists in Florida. In order to respond to this emergency, the following shall commence:

  1. 1)    Section 1. The Commissioner of Agriculture is hereby notified of this threat to public health from the Zika virus transmission to humans from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Further, the appropriate resources of the Department of Health are available to the Commissioner of Agriculture in execution of the powers and duties outlined in section 388.45, Florida Statutes.
  2. Section 2. This Public Health Emergency Declaration shall be limited to the following counties:
    1. Miami-Dade;
    2. Hillsborough;
    3. Lee; and
    4. Santa Rosa.
  3. Section 3. On or before February 15, 2016, a meeting shall be convened in the above detailed counties that will include at a minimum the following participants, a representative from:
    1. the county commission;
    2. the city commissions;
    3. the mosquito control board;
    4. the county extension office;
    5. the county health department;
    6. the tourist development council;
    7. emergency management;
    8. the airport or port authority, as applicable;
    9. the county medical society; and
    10. any other necessary community partners
  4. At the meeting, the following topics shall be discussed: mosquito control best practices and public outreach strategies for those communities with high risk or vulnerable populations. The County Health Officer shall prepare a summary of the meeting and develop action plans for the execution of prevention programs and provide it to the Department of Health's Central incident command offices.
  5. Section 4. The County Health Officers for those affected counties shall develop an outreach program for local medical professionals to increase awareness and access to diagnostic tools.

Executed this 3rd day of February 2016, in Department of Health Offices, Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida.

DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

Zika Virus Information Page

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