In response to a new CDC report issued today, Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) held a news conference in which he announced a second Zika Infection zone in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The new area of Zika infection involves five new Zika cases and covers approximately 1.5 square miles in Miami Beach.
So far, Florida is the only state that has reported local transmission of Zika virus, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has affirmed continuation of a Travel Advisory for the region issued on August 1, 2016. The Florida Department of Health (DoH), whose responsibility it is to identify and track incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases within the state, has identified 36 persons infected through local transmission, and 488 persons infected either while traveling to areas outside of the country with mosquito-borne transmission or from having sexual relations with such a traveler. The Florida DoH also reports that 68 of the persons infected with Zika Virus are pregnant women.
“The virus is not necessarily spreading throughout the entire county, [but] we will always err on the side of providing more information to the public so people can make more informed decisions… to protect themselves,“ said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH during the news conference with Governor Scott. “For now, pregnant women, and those women who anticipate pregnancy in the coming months, along with their partners, who are concerned with the possibility of Zika Virus infection which may cause microcephaly among other serious birth defects, may consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County, Florida.”
Once again, for Arizona residents, there is no current need for action, unless they anticipate travel to areas in which the virus has already been identified. However, there are some basic steps that everyone may take in general to reduce the impact of the mosquito population locally:
- Ensure that all windows and doors are screened to prevent entry of mosquitoes into living areas;
- Eliminate from all surroundings pools of stagnant water in which mosquitoes breed; and
- Use proper attire and approved topical sprays and creams when outside, early in the evenings and late at night, to repel mosquitos.