Zika virus

CDC Using New Rapid Response Teams To Fight Zika

Sep 14, 2016
CDC

It was a call that public health officials were dreading, but for which they had prepared. An elderly man in Salt Lake City died after contracting the Zika virus, the first fatality from the disease in the continental United States. His son, who had been a caregiver, also had become sick, but health officials did not know how.

Congress is facing a September 30th deadline to make sure a budget deal is reached to fund the federal government. Lawmakers just came back from a seven-week break, and both the U.S. House and Senate have yet to reach an agreement on a bill to fund anti-Zika efforts—widely seen as a non-partisan issue. Governor Rick Scott is going Tuesday for a two-day trip to Washington D.C. to talk to members of Congress of the importance of that funding for Florida.

Gov. Scott Will Urge Congress To Fund Fight Against Zika

Sep 11, 2016
Wikimedia

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will go to Washington, D.C., this week to urge Congress to fund the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus as the disease continues to be detected in Miami-Dade County.

Wikimedia Commons

The Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County will hold a Zika forum Friday in Tampa to address concerns about pregnancy.

Zika infection is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that causes infants to be born with small heads.

Jane Murphy, the executive director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, said the forum will educate both the public and health care workers.

The total cost of mosquito control in Miami-Dade County became a bit clearer Tuesday, as officials released a preliminary look at the county’s 2016-2017 budget.

 

Miami-Dade Gets $5 Million For Zika Fight

Aug 23, 2016
Florida Department of Health

Gov. Rick Scott said Monday the state is sending $5 million to Miami-Dade County to help in the ongoing effort to stem an outbreak of the Zika virus.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has two goals when it comes to releasing information on locally transmitted cases of Zika. Make the information "accurate" and make it "timely."

 

Scott's reiterated this message, using these exact words, numerous times at press conferences over the past week.

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

WMFE

The Zika virus has changed how blood banks collect donations in Florida – and now it’s changing sperm and egg donations as well.

Toxicologists say Floridians using mosquito repellent for Zika virus prevention should not overuse it. Mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County are transmitting the illness, which is linked to birth defects. And misusing repellent could cause some health issues, too.

Early Friday afternoon, Gov. Rick Scott announced that the area between Eighth Street and 28th Street in Miami Beach is an active zone of Zika transmission, with five non-travel-related case of the virus linked to the city.

However daily life continued uninterrupted in Miami Beach – tourists lounged along Ocean Drive, and residents walked their dogs with tank tops and shorts on.

Three More Local Zika Cases Found In Miami-Dade

Aug 18, 2016
Oxitec

State health officials said Wednesday they have found three more Zika cases believed to have been caused by mosquito bites in Miami-Dade County, bringing to 33 the number of locally transmitted cases in South Florida.

It’s banned in Europe.

Puerto Ricans took to the streets to keep it off their island.

But a controversial pesticide is being aerial-sprayed over a Miami-Dade Zika hot zone in a race to kill the virus-carrying aedes aegypti mosquito. And its use is raising concerns about possible health risks posed by long-term exposure to the chemical.

Below, Miami Herald reporter Andres Viglucci answers some questions about the pesticide called Naled.

What is Naled?

WLRN Facebook Live video screenshot.

There's only one place in the continental U.S. where mosquitoes are known to be transmitting the Zika virus: Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. Pregnant women are arming themselves against mosquitoes.

Zika Travel Cases Continue Showing Up Across The State

Aug 16, 2016
Oxitec

Two new locally transmitted Zika cases were reported Monday in Miami-Dade County, as the number of travel-related cases continues to mushroom across the state. The two local Miami-Dade cases brought to 30 the number of infections believed to have been caused by mosquito bites in South Florida.

Zika Tests And What We Know About Them

Aug 16, 2016

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved two types of testing for Zika virus in humans. Generally, the type of test to be used will depend on the "exposure date" or when the patient believes he or she has been exposed to the virus.

The first type of tests are the Reverse-Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests (RT-PCR).

Another Local Zika Case Found In Miami-Dade

Aug 11, 2016
Oxitec

Health officials Wednesday said they have found another Zika case likely caused by a mosquito bite in Miami-Dade County, while the number of travel-related Zika cases continues to steadily increase across the state.

Scott Says Florida Remains 'Safe State' Amid Zika Battle

Aug 3, 2016
Lottie Watts/WUSF / WUSF

Florida political leaders say controlling the spread of the Zika virus is doable but will take everyone's help, as travel advisories have been posted about visiting the state.

The key to avoiding Zika is avoiding contact with the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The official advice is to wear bug repellent, avoid affected areas, and stay indoors. But for people who spend extended periods of time on Wynwood's streets, following that advice is difficult.

The Florida Department of Health

Florida health officials have identified 10 more people who likely contracted the Zika virus through a mosquito bite in the Miami-Dade County area, bringing the total to 14.

News of four recent cases of Zika acquired by mosquito bites in neighborhoods north of downtown Miami was not received with concern by owners and patrons of restaurants and bars in the popular area of Wynwood. 

 

 

FDA: No Miami-Area Blood Donations During Zika Investigation

Jul 28, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Pointing to concerns about transmission of the Zika virus, the federal Food and Drug Administration on Thursday requested that blood banks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties temporarily halt collecting blood until safeguards are put in place.

Two more possible non-travel-related cases of Zika virus are being investigated in South Florida, the Florida Department of Health confirmed Wednesday.

CDC Urges Doctors To Aggressively Test Pregnant Women For Zika

Jul 26, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on doctors to more aggressively screen pregnant women for the Zika virus and to take advantage of new testing technology to improve the diagnosis, follow-up and monitoring of those who have been infected.

Florida health department officials have been tight-lipped about the investigation into a possible locally-transmitted case of Zika virus in Miami-Dade County.

It's been thought that the Zika virus spreads only through mosquito bites or sexual contact. But someone in Utah appears to have caught Zika another way — while caring for an elderly family member infected with the virus.

"The new case in Utah is a surprise, showing that we still have more to learn about Zika," Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported Monday.

A sitting duck. That's what South America was a few years ago when Zika first struck. The continent had never recorded a case of the mosquito-borne virus. And everyone was susceptible.

"So you get this huge raging epidemic that blows through the population, usually very fast and infects a pretty high percentage of the population," says Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

With more than 200 confirmed travel-related Zika virus cases throughout Florida, Pinellas County Mosquito Control is utilizing various tools to combat mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.

In eight locations across Pinellas County, there are a total of 56 sentinel chickens. Their job is to alert Mosquito Control officials to viruses present in various areas.

Last year, 53 chickens tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The areas affected were treated and there was only one person diagnosed with the virus.

Florida Governor Rick Scott stopped in Jacksonville Tuesday to warn residents about the Zika virus epidemic and meet with local officials.

Scott also took the opportunity to slam congressional leaders for failing to pass a funding bill to combat the virus.


Tampa Charity To Give Out Zika Kits To Homeless

Jun 28, 2016

Hundreds of families in Tampa Bay live in their cars, tents and in the woods.

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