Showing posts with label Zika Virus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zika Virus. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CDC Issues Zika virus travel notice for The Bahamas


PORT CANAVERAL, Florida - The U.S. Center for Disease Control posted a Zika virus travel notice for The Bahamas on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, after local transmission of Zika were reported on the island of New Providence, which includes the capital city of Nassau.


The Bahamas are a popular cruise destination from ports throughout Florida, including the world's most popular cruise port, Port Canaveral.  All four cruise lines departing from Port Canaveral, Florida (Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian) offer Bahamian destinations on their cruise itineraries.

As more information becomes available, the CDC said that its travel notices will be updated. Travelers to areas with cases of Zika virus infection are at risk of being infected with the Zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika virus. The best way to avoid Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

The CDC warns that some travelers to areas with Zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of Zika, travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.

Some people who are infected do not have any symptoms, according to the CDC. People who do have symptoms have reported fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and the number of deaths is low. Travelers to areas with Zika should monitor for symptoms or sickness upon return. If they become sick, they should tell their healthcare professional when and where they have traveled.



Photo credit: Brevard Times / file.  Map credit: CDC

Monday, August 15, 2016

Florida Governor Rick Scott: Locally Acquired Zika Virus Cases Rise To 30

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced on Monday that two more cases of the Zika virus that were locally acquired through mosquito bites were confirmed in Miami-Dade County by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), bringing  the total number of local transmissions to 30 in Florida. 

“While we have learned there are two new individuals that contracted the Zika virus through mosquito bites in our state, we still believe local transmissions are only occurring in an area that is less than one square mile in Wynwood," said Governor Scott.

"I have stayed in constant communication with Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County to ensure the county has all of the resources they need. The Department of Health has been fulfilling requests for Miami-Dade County since June, and they are expediting the county’s additional request made on Friday for funding for additional staff and mosquito traps.”

DOH is currently investigating three locations in Miami-Dade County and one in Palm Beach County where local transmissions of the Zika virus may have occurred. 


In addition to the two local transmission, there were 28 new travel-related cases confirmed on Monday with eleven in Miami-Dade, eight in Broward, two in Volusia, one in Alachua, one in Bay, one in Brevard, one in Hillsborough, one in Marion, one in Polk and one involving a pregnant woman. This is Marion County’s first travel-related case and they have been added to the Declaration for Public Health Emergency.

The Zika virus is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida. In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virusWest Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

NASA study predicted that locally acquired outbreaks were most likely to occur in Miami in July during peak mosquito and travel season.  Central Florida is the second most likely area in the United States where a Zika outbreak may occur after South Florida, according to the study.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink.  Women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should avoid travel to Zika-affected areas, including Florida. 

As of August 15, 2016, there have been 440 confirmed travel-related cases plus 59 cases involving pregnant women in the Sunshine State. DOH announced in June that there had been the first confirmed case of microcephaly in a baby born in Florida. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

FDA Approves Release Of Mutant Mosquitoes In Florida

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

Mutant mosquitoes could soon be released in Florida after the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday that Oxitec can conduct field trials of the company’s genetically engineered mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

The FDA concluded that a field trial conducted in Key Haven, Florida would will not have significant impacts on the environment.

Oxitec’s self-limiting mosquitoes have been genetically engineered so that their offspring die before reaching adulthood. Male Oxitec mosquitoes, which do not bite or spread disease, are released to mate with wild female Aedes aegypti so that their offspring die, reducing the population. Efficacy trials in Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands have tested this approach, and in each of these trials the population of Aedes aegypti was reduced by more than 90%.



“We’ve been developing this approach for many years, and from these results we are convinced that our solution is both highly effective and has sound environmental credentials," Oxitec’s Chief Executive Officer Hadyn Parry said. "We’re delighted with the announcement today that the FDA, after their extensive review of our dossier and thousands of public comments for a trial in the Florida Keys, have published their final view that this will not have a significant impact on the environment. We are now looking forward to working with the community in the Florida Keys moving forward.”

The purpose of the proposed trial is to determine the efficacy of Oxitec’s self-limiting mosquitoes for the control of the local population of Aedes aegypti in Key Haven, Monroe County, Florida.

However, the green light from the FDA does not mean that Oxitec’s GE mosquitos are approved for commercial use. Oxitec would still be responsible for ensuring all other local, state, and federal requirements are met before conducting the proposed field trial, and, together with its local partner, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, to determine whether and when to begin the proposed field trial in Key Haven, Florida.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the  species that are primarily responsible for the spread of the Zika virus. The species can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virusWest Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

Number of Zika Cases Rise To 10 In Brevard County

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - The number of cases of the Zika virus that have been confirmed on Florida's Space Coast increased from 8 to 10 on Friday.  All Zika cases in Brevard County, Florida have been travel-related and not locally acquired.  


Saturday, July 30, 2016

NASA Predicted Zika Virus Outbreak Would Happen In Miami During July

Where Zika Virus Is Most Likely To Spread In The United States

MIAMI, Florida - Florida Governor Rick Scott announced on Friday that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has concluded that four cases of the Zika virus are likely mosquito-borne in  Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. And a Zika Risk Map created by NASA predicted that such a mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika Virus in the United States would most likely occur in the Miami area during the month of July 2016.



“We learned today that four people in our state likely have the Zika virus as a result of a mosquito bite," Governor Scott said.  "All four of these people live in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and the Florida Department of Health believes that active transmissions of this virus could be occurring in one small area in Miami.  While no mosquitoes have tested positive for the Zika virus, DOH is aggressively testing people in this area to ensure there are no other cases."

So far, the Florida Department of Health believes that active transmissions of the Zika virus are occurring in one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown.   The cases are likely the first known occurrence of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States.

“All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

NASA's scientific model published in April predicted that the Zika virus pandemic that has afflicted much of Latin America and the Caribbean was most likely to gain a foothold in the continental U.S. through South Florida during this summer.

NASA scientists examined three key factors - mosquito abundance in the U.S., international travel to Zika infested regions, and socioeconomic status - that contribute to the spread of Zika virus to understand where and when a potential outbreak may occur.

The Zika virus is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida.

The study found that Florida cities have the heaviest amount of travelers arriving from countries where the Zika virus has become pandemic in combination with the longest mosquito season in the United States. Those two main factors have made the Sunshine State ground zero for a local transmission outbreak of the Zika virus.

Miami-Dade County and Broward County were the most likely areas to have the first local transmission of the Zika Virus in the continental U.S. The next most likely area is Orlando, Florida, according to the Zika Risk Map.

According to the CDC, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink.  The first baby born with microcephaly in Florida was reported in June. Women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should avoid travel to Zika-affected areas, including Florida.

“We have been working with state and local governments to prepare for the likelihood of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States and Hawaii,” said Lyle Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., incident manager for CDC’s Zika virus response. “We anticipate that there may be additional cases of ‘homegrown’ Zika in the coming weeks.  Our top priority is to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating harm caused by Zika.”

Despite the known risks to pregnant mothers and their babies in the United States, President Obama and Congress have not enacted any travel restrictions to and from countries with Zika outbreaks.

Map credit: NASA

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2 More Zika Cases Reported In Brevard County On Wednesday

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - The number of cases of the Zika virus that have been confirmed on Florida's Space Coast increased from 6 to 8 on Wednesday.  All Zika cases in Brevard County, Florida have been travel-related and not locally acquired.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brevard County Zika Cases Increase By 150% In One Day

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - The number of cases of the Zika virus that have been confirmed on Florida's Space Coast increased by 150% on Tuesday, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Brevard County, Florida from four to six.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First baby with Zika Virus-related microcephaly born in Florida

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

The Florida Department of Health announced on Tuesday that there has been the first confirmed case of microcephaly in a baby born in Florida. The location of the birth was not disclosed.

The newborn's mother had a travel-related case of Zika contracted while in Haiti. Although the Zika virus pandemic has afflicted much of Latin America and the Caribbean and is most likely to gain a foothold in the continental U.S. through Florida this summer, President Barack Obama and Congress have not enacted any travel restrictions from those countries.






"The Olympics will begin in less than 40 days and millions of Americans will travel through our state to and from Brazil, a country where the Zika virus is rapidly spreading, and we must be prepared,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott in response to the first confirmed case.

“Now that a baby has been born in our state with adverse impacts from Zika, it is clear that every available resource is needed to prevent local transmissions in our state.”

While local transmissions have not occurred in the Sunshine State, local transmissions are possible if a Zika infected visitor or returning traveler is bitten by Florida mosquitoes that then spread the virus to other people they bite.

A recent NASA study predicts that locally acquired outbreaks are most likely to occur in Florida during July during peak mosquito and travel season.

The Zika virus is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida. In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue fever, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink.  Women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should avoid travel to Zika-affected areas.

Florida's Department of Health is now working with the family to connect the child to services through Florida's Early Steps program.


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fourth Zika Virus Case Confirmed In Brevard County

Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads Zika virus.

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - Another case of the Zika virus has been confirmed on Florida's Space Coast, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Brevard County, Florida to four. In addition to Brevard County, new Zika cases were also confirmed on Thursday in Duval County and Seminole County.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Third Zika Virus Case Confirmed In Brevard County


TALLAHASSEE - Another case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Brevard County, Florida, raising the total number of confirmed cases on Florida's Space Coast to three. In addition to Brevard County, new Zika cases were confirmed on Wednesday in Broward, Pinellas and one involving a pregnant woman in an undisclosed Florida county.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

NASA: Zika Virus Epidemic Most Likely In Florida During Summer


The Zika virus pandemic that has afflicted much of Latin America and the Caribbean is most likely to gain a foothold in the continental U.S. through Florida during the summer, according to a scientific model constructed by NASA.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Number of Florida Zika Cases Double In February

Florida Map of Zika Virus Cases
Map of Florida counties where Zika cases have been detected. Credit: Brevard Times


The number of Zika cases reported in Florida have nearly tripled in February from 14 cases on Feb. 5 to 37 cases on Feb. 26.  Three of those cases involved pregnant women who contracted the Zika virus.

According to Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Zika virus report for February 26, 2016, two new Zika cases were confirmed with one in Broward County and one in Miami-Dade County. Over half of all Florida Zika virus cases (19 out of 37) have been located in those two counties.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Zika Virus Detected In Seminole County, Florida

Map of Florida counties where Zika cases have been detected. Credit: Brevard Times


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida - According to Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Zika report for February 23, 2016, the first case of the Zika virus has been reported in Seminole County which now means that four contiguous counties in East Central Florida have reported at least one case of the Zika virus. The total number of Zika cases in Florida has risen to 29 as of Tuesday.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Zika Virus Now In All Major Florida Tourism Counties

Map of Florida counties where Zika cases have been detected.
Map of Florida counties where Zika cases have been detected. Credit: Brevard Times


ORLANDO, Florida - According to Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Zika report for February 19, 2016, the first case of the Zika virus has been reported in Orange County - the Florida county that encompasses Orlando and Florida's major theme parks: Universal Studios; Walt Disney World; and Sea World.  


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Zika Virus Detected In Brevard County: Public Health Emergency Expanded


UPDATE: Zika Virus Now In All Major Florida Tourism Counties

TALLAHASSEE - As of February 17, one new Zika case has been confirmed in Brevard County. As a result, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Declaration of Public Health Emergency has been expanded to include Brevard County.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Florida Zika Virus Cases Rise To 18


TALLAHASSEE - The number of Zika virus cases in Florida has increased to eighteen, according to Florida State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong's daily Zika virus update on Thursday, February 11, 2016. All eighteen are travel-associated cases (defined as disease believed to be contracted outside of the state).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Florida Governor Rick Scott Declares Zika Virus A Health Emergency


TALLAHASSEE - Florida Governor Rick Scott signed an Executive Order on Wednesday which directs Florida State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in the four counties which have the Zika virus.  There are currently a total of nine travel-associated cases (defined as disease believed to be contracted outside of the state) of the Zika virus across Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa Counties. 

Today I am directing Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in the four counties that have individuals with the Zika virus," Governor Rick Scott said. "Although Florida’s current nine Zika cases were travel-related, we have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state.  Our Department of Health will continue to be in constant communication with all county health offices, hospitals and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We know that we must be prepared for the worst even as we hope for the best.”


1. In addition to directing Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in four counties, the executive order also:

2. Directs the Surgeon General to immediately notify the Commissioner of Agriculture of this threat to public health and outlines that statute authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to issue a mosquito declaration in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa Counties. 

3. The Executive Order also says that special attention for mosquito sprays shall be paid to residential areas, as CDC guidance indicates that backpack mosquito spray measures may be most effective.

4. Directs the Florida Department of Health to make its own determinations as to further resources and information needed in the State from the CDC to combat the spread of Zika and other measures that may need to be taken to protect public health.

Zika is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida. Although local transmissions have not occurred in the Sunshine State, local transmissions are possible if a Zika infected visitor or returning traveler is bitten by Florida mosquitoes that then spread the virus to other people they bite.  In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virusWest Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

According to the CDC, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink. Maternal-fetal transmission of Zika virus has been documented throughout pregnancy and pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

3 Cases Of Baby Brain-Shrinking Zika Virus Confirmed In Florida


UPDATE: Zika Virus Now In All Major Florida Tourism Counties

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed three cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Florida that were imported by people traveling to South America.


One case involved a Hillsborough County (Tampa area) resident who had traveled to Venezuela in December. The other two cases were Miami-Dade County residents who had traveled to Columbia in December.

Zika is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida. Although local transmissions have not occurred in the Sunshine State, local transmissions are possible if a Zika infected visitor or returning traveler is bitten by Florida mosquitoes that then spread the virus to other people they bite.  In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virus, West Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas.  According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries like the United States because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world. 

According to the CDC, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink. Maternal-fetal transmission of Zika virus has been documented throughout pregnancy and pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester.

Because there is neither a vaccine nor prophylactic medications available to prevent Zika virus infection, the CDC has issued a warning to all pregnant women to consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

Photo credit: CDC