In an effort to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong will issue a Zika virus update each week day at 2 p.m. Updates will include a CDC-confirmed Zika case count by county and information to better keep Floridians prepared.
As of today, one new Zika cases have been confirmed in Seminole County and the Declaration of Public Health Emergency has been expanded to include the county.
On Feb. 12, Governor Scott directed State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to activate a Zika Virus Information Hotline for current Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future. The hotline, managed by the Department of Health, has assisted 648 callers since it launched. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.
All cases are travel-associated. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Florida. None of the confirmed cases involve pregnant women. For more information on the Zika virus, click here.
State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong urges Floridians to drain standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small. A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes. Residents and visitors also need to use repellents when enjoying the Florida outdoors.
More Information on DOH action on Zika:
On Feb. 3, Governor Scott directed State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong to issue a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the counties of residents with travel-associated cases of Zika.
The Declaration currently includes the 11 effected counties – Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Santa Rosa, Seminole and St. Johns – and will be updated as needed.
DOH encourages Florida residents and visitors to protect themselves from all mosquito-borne illnesses by draining standing water; covering their skin with repellent and clothing; and covering windows with screens.
DOH has a robust mosquito-borne illness surveillance system and is working with the CDC, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and local county mosquito control boards to ensure that the proper precautions are being taken to protect Florida residents and visitors.
Florida currently has the capacity to test 4,859 people for active Zika virus and 1,268 for Zika antibodies.
Federal Guidance on Zika:
According to the CDC, Zika illness is generally mild with a rash, fever and joint pain. CDC researchers are examining a possible link between the virus and harm to unborn babies exposed during pregnancy.
This week, the FDA released guidance regarding donor screening, deferral and product management to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmission of Zika virus. Additional information is available on the FDA website here.
For more information on Zika virus, click here.