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Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong’s Daily Zika Update

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

February 24, 2016

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Feb. 24, 2016

SURGEON DR. JOHN ARMSTRONG'S DAILY ZIKA UPDATE

 

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

Tallahassee, Fla.—In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the 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 count by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.

Of the travel-related cases confirmed in Florida, only three cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to ten 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 three have tested positive for a history of Zika virus infection. The CDC recommends that a pregnant woman with a history of Zika virus and her provider should consider additional ultrasounds. Out of respect of the privacy of these women, no counties or additional information will be shared. It is recommended that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas.

County

Number of Cases (all travel related)

Alachua

1

Brevard

1

Broward

4

Hillsborough

3

Lee

3

Miami-Dade

11

Orange

2

Osceola

1

Santa Rosa

1

Seminole

1

St. Johns

1

Cases Involving Pregnant Women*

3

Total

32

*Counties of pregnant women will not be shared.

Today, after learning of three pregnant women in Florida who tested positive for Zika virus after traveling from outside the U.S., Governor Rick Scott requested the CDC send 250 additional Zika antibody tests to the state.

On Feb. 12, Governor Scott directed State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong 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 683 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.

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:

  • On Feb. 3, 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 11 effected counties – Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, 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 4,793 people for active Zika virus and 1,195 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.
  • This week, 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.

For more information on Zika virus, click here.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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