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CDC Briefs Florida Doctors As Zika Cases Rise

The Florida Channel
The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika are native to Florida.

Amid an increase of travel-related Zika cases in Florida, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefed Florida health care providers on the virus.

Florida is now up to 20 confirmed cases of Zika, according to the Florida Department of Health. All were contracted outside the country, and none are in pregnant women.

Volusia County Dr. Pamela Carbiener was among those on Thursday’s conference call with the CDC.

“They just are trying to be proactive I think, and get on the front side of this in a way I don’t think they feel like we necessarily got on the front side of the Ebola thing in year’s past,” Carbiener said.

Carbiener said one of her patient’s husband returned home from a trip with the virus.

“As physicians, our data is absolutely being flooded,” Carbiener said. “Between the CDC and health organizations and local departments of health, everyone is looking for us to make sure we’re aware of this and to ask the correct questions.”

The Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s brain and head don’t fully develop in-utero.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a health emergency in the seven counties where Zika cases have been found, in part because Zika is spread by mosquitoes native to Florida.

--Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.