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Department of Health Daily Zika Update: Three New Travel-Related Cases Today
May 20, 2016
May 20, 2016
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DAILY ZIKA UPDATE: THREE NEW TRAVEL-RELATED CASES TODAY
Tallahassee, Fla.—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 three new travel-related cases of Zika today with one in Miami-Dade, one in Osceola and one in Pinellas counties. Of the cases confirmed in Florida, four cases are still exhibiting symptoms. According to CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days.
Based on CDCguidancereleased today, DOH will now report pregnant women with evidence of Zika virus regardless of symptoms. Prior to today, CDC guidance was only to report cases of Zika if the pregnant women was symptomatic.
Florida has been monitoring pregnant women with evidence of Zika regardless of symptoms since January. The total number of pregnant women who have been monitored is 36, with 9 having met the previous CDC case definition. Beginning today, based on the new CDC guidance, Florida's case count of pregnant woman is 36.
CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas. According to CDC guidance, providers should consider testing all pregnant women with a history of travel to a Zika affected area for the virus. CDC recommends that a pregnant woman with a history of Zika virus and her provider should consider additional ultrasounds.
The department continues to work closely with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other professional societies to ensure that they are aware as these changes occur and are prepared to discuss them with their patients.
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Cases involving pregnant women regardless of symptoms
*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 1,785 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.
- There have been 19 counties included in the declaration– Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia – 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 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.
- On April 6, Governor Rick Scott and Interim State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip hosted a conference call with Florida Mosquito Control Districts to discuss ongoing preparations to fight the possible spread of the Zika virus in Florida. There were 74 attendees on the call.
- On May 11, Governor Scott met with federal leaders on the importance of preparing for Zika as we would a hurricane. Governor Scott requested 5,000 Zika preparedness kits from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell as well as a plan from FEMA on how resources will be allocated to states in the event an emergency is declared.
- Florida currently has the capacity to test 6,288 people for active Zika virus and 1,958 for Zika antibodies.
Federal Guidance on Zika:
- According to CDC, Zika illness is generally mild with a rash, fever and joint pain. CDC researchers have concluded that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other birth defects.
- 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.
- CDC has put out guidance related to the sexual transmission of the Zika virus. This includes 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.