infectious disease

The Dominican Republic's reputation for Instagrammable beaches and bargain all-inclusive resorts is being eclipsed by reports of tourist deaths. At least eight Americans have died on the Caribbean island this year, including one just this week. The FBI is helping authorities in the country investigate three of the deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Different gauges of needles on a board
Sammy Mack / WLRN

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

The state legislative session is over and the fate of a bill that would allow the expansion of needle exchanges throughout Florida is now up to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Infectious Disease Elimination Programs bill creates a legal mechanism for counties to authorize programs that swap clean syringes for dirty ones. Needle exchanges have been shown to reduce the spread of blood borne infections—like HIV and hepatitis C—among injection drug users.

The bill passed 111-3 in the Florida House and unanimously in the Florida Senate.

‘Medieval’ Diseases Flare As Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate

Mar 12, 2019
Heidi de Marco - Kaiser Health News

Jennifer Millar keeps trash bags and hand sanitizer near her tent, and she regularly pours water mixed with hydrogen peroxide on the sidewalk nearby. Keeping herself and the patch of concrete she calls home clean is a top priority. 

A high number of leprosy cases have been appearing in Florida. The possible culprit: armadillos. 

This year, nine cases have been reported in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health. The state usually gets about two to 12 cases a year. 

Armadillos. Leprosy. Florida. It's hard to ignore news reports that fit all three words in the first sentence.

So when we heard that state health officials in Florida have reported nine people with leprosy and suggested that people avoid armadillos, we here at Team Shots just had to check it out.

Senior Airman Cory D. Payne / U.S. Air Force

Six people who recently traveled from Ebola-affected regions are under twice-daily monitoring by the Florida Health Department. The state continues preparing in case someone tests positive.

No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Florida, and all six of the people being monitored are considered low-risk. Gov. Rick Scott says just under 100 hospitals have completed special Ebola training, and he hopes more will do so.

 Gov. Rick Scott opened fire on the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, accusing the agency of starving Florida of the information, equipment and even the testing kits the state needs to be safe from the deadly Ebola virus.

"The CDC has not fulfilled any of Florida's requests," Scott said angrily. "We are now asking publicly to support us in these important efforts for our state."

Questions Help Hospitals Guard from Ebola

Oct 19, 2014

Step inside All Children's Hospital and you're greeted with three things: hand sanitizer, tissues and masks decorated with little cartoon Band-Aids with legs, feet and smiles. "Dirt Squirt Alert!" a sign says. "Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick!"

A sign at the check-in counter calls on people to immediately tell the triage nurse if 

Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center initiated federal Ebola protocols on Monday after a patient who reported recent contact with a West African traveler was admitted with flu-like symptoms, according to the Florida Times-Union.

After a full screening, the case turned out to be a false alarm, the Times-Union reports.