Tags: Zika Virus | Officials Log Five More Homegrown Zika Cases in Florida

Five More Homegrown Zika Cases in Florida

Five More Homegrown Zika Cases in Florida

(Copyright Fortolia)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 September 2016 04:27 PM

The number of people infected with homegrown Zika in Florida is continuing to climb with five more new cases logged in the Greater Miami area, state health officials say.

On Tuesday, the Florida Health Department confirmed that four Florida residents have become infected with homegrown Zika in Miami-Dade County and health officials are investigating to determine exactly where they occurred. In addition, the state said there was one non-resident of Florida who contracted the homegrown virus in that county.

There were no new cases of homegrown Zika specifically linked to Miami Beach, which is the state’s Zika hot spot and the only area in the U.S. where the mosquito-born virus is occurring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

In addition, there were five cases of travel-related Zika, with one in Clay and one in Osceola counties. The fifth case involved a pregnant woman; the state does not list any further information regarding women who are pregnant in order to protect their identities.

Zika is particulary dangerous to pregnant women because it causes microencephaly, which causes babies to be born with small heads and brain damage.

This brings to 109 the total number Florida residents who have been infected by homegrown Zika in Florida. In all, 904 people have been infected, a tally that includes 693 travel-related cases, 91 pregnant women and 11 out-of-state residents.
Although there are thousands of travel-related cases in the U.S., ¬health officials are most concerned about the growing number of homegrown Zika cases, because this means that local mosquitos are transmitting the virus.

Zika may cause no symptoms or make people sick for a week with the following flu-like signs:

  • Fever.
  • Rash.
  • Joint pain.
  • Red eyes.

There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, making prevention essential. Health experts recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed.
  • Use repellents to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Use air conditioning and window screens if possible.
  • Call your health care provider if you are at risk of infection.

Last month, Consumer Reports released new rankings of mosquito repellents that offer the best protection against Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the type that carry the Zika virus. They tested products containing deet, plantlike ingredients lemon eucalyptus and picaridin. The most effective products:

  • Sawyer Fisherman's Formula Picaridin.
  • Natrapel 8 Hour, with 20 percent picaridin.
  • Off! Deepwoods VIII, w/25 percent deet.
  • Repel Lemon Eucalyptus.

The magazine also recommended skipping products made with natural plant oils, such as California Baby Natural Bug Blend (a blend of citronella, lemongrass oil, cedar oil, and other ingredients) and EcoSmart Organic, (which includes geraniol, rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, and lemongrass oil).

Women who are pregnant or breast feeding can safely use deet, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535, according to the EPA.

Other tips for using insect repellents safely and effectively:

  1. Apply repellents sparingly, and only to exposed skin or clothing.
  2. Don’t apply repellents over cuts, wounds, irritated skin, or after shaving.
  3. When applying to your face, spray first on your hands, then rub in, avoiding your eyes and mouth.
  4. Don’t let young children apply repellents themselves
  5. Don’t use near food, and wash hands after application and before eating.
  6. At the end of the day, wash treated skin with soap and water, and wash treated clothing in a separate wash before wearing again.

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Florida health officials say that five more cases of homegrown Zika have occurred in the Greater Miami area of Florida.
Officials Log Five More Homegrown Zika Cases in Florida
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2016-27-27
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 04:27 PM
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