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Department of Health Daily Zika Update: the Department Responds to Local Zika Cases
July 29, 2016
July 29, 2016
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RESPONDS TO LOCAL ZIKA CASES
Tallahassee, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health has gathered enough information as part of its ongoing investigation into non-travel related cases of Zika in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to conclude that a high likelihood exists that four cases are the result of local transmission. At this time, the department believes that active transmission of the Zika virus are occurring in one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown. The exact location is within the boundaries of the following area: NW 5th Avenue to the west, US 1 to the east, NW/NE 38th Street to the north and NW/NE 20th Street to the south. This area is about 1 square mile and a map is below to detail the area. While no mosquitoes trapped tested positive for the Zika virus, the department believes these cases were likely transmitted through infected mosquitoes in this area.
The department is actively conducting door-to-door outreach and urine sample collection in the impacted area and will share more details as they become available. The results from these efforts will help department determine the number of people affected. These local cases were identified by clinicians who brought them to the attention of the department. In addition, blood banks in the area are currently excluding donations from impacted areas until screening protocols are in place.
In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, the department will continue to 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 today in Miami-Dade County. According to CDC, symptoms associated with the Zika virus last between seven to 10 days.
CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to areas with widespread Zika infection. Florida’s small case cluster is not considered widespread transmission. 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.
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 55, with 18 having met the previous CDC case definition.
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and CDC released a new case definition for Zika that now includes reporting both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of Zika. Prior to this change, states reported only symptomatic non-pregnant cases and pregnant cases regardless of symptoms. This change comes as a result of increased availability for testing in commercial laboratories.
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Total cases not involving pregnant women
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 2,421 callers since it launched. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.
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 29 counties included in the declaration– Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie 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 clothing and bare skin with repellent; 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 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.
- On June 1, Governor Scott requested for President Obama to provide preparedness items needed in order to increase Florida’s capacity to be ready when Zika becomes mosquito-borne in our state.
- On June 9, Governor Scott spoke with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Zika preparedness and reiterated the requests that he has continued to make to the federal government to prepare for the Zika virus once it becomes mosquito-borne in Florida. Governor Scott also requested that the CDC provide an additional 1,300 Zika antibody tests to Florida to allow individuals, especially pregnant women and new mothers, to see if they ever had the Zika virus.
- On June 23, Governor Scott announced that he will use his emergency executive authority to allocate $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response in Florida.
- On June 28, the department announced the first confirmed case of microcephaly in an infant born in Florida whose mother had a travel-related case of Zika. The mother of the infant contracted Zika while in Haiti. Following the confirmation of this case, Governor Scott called on CDC to host a call with Florida medical professionals, including OBGYNs and physicians specializing in family medicine, to discuss the neurological impacts of Zika and what precautions new and expecting mothers should take.
- On July 1, CDC hosted a call with Florida medical professionals, including OB/GYNs, pediatricians and physicians specializing in family medicine, to discuss the neurological impacts of Zika and what precautions new and expecting mothers should take. More than 120 clinicians participated.
- Florida currently has the capacity to test 6,609 people for active Zika virus and 2,059 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.