Tags: Zika Virus | Zika | US | Florida | Miami Beach

Zika Cases Climbing in Florida

Zika Cases Climbing in Florida

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By    |   Thursday, 15 September 2016 06:13 PM

The number of homegrown Zika cases in Florida is climbing, and the area where they are  occurring is broadening, state health officials say.

On Friday, the Florida Health Department confirmed  seven new cases of the homegrown virus. Six of these occurred in Miami-Dade County and one in Palm Beach County, officials say. 

 Three of these cases are associated with Miami Beach and officials are investigating where the other two Miami-Dade infections occurred.  In addition, 11 new travel-related cases were reported, including one in Flagler County, which is the first ever reported there, officials say.

Although the Palm Beach County case involved a person from that area, the infection likely occurred in Miami-Dade County. The seventh case was an out-of-state visitor who was probably infected in Miami-Dade County, although officials are trying to determine where.

This new tally brings to 77 the total number of people who have been infected by homegrown Zika, either in Miami Beach or the Wynwood part of Miami, which are the only two areas in the U.S. where local transmission is taking place, the U.S. Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention says.

Aerial spraying has been completed in Wynwood and another round of the program, which uses the powerful pesticide Naled, is slated for Sunday in Miami Beach to try and knock out the mosquito-born ailment.

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, which indicates local transmission is going on.  Zika causes microcephaly, a particularly dangerous birth defect, the CDC says. Florida health officials are monitoring 86 women who were pregnant when they were infected.

In all, 823 people have contracted the disease in Florida, state officials say.

Many people infected with the Zika virus won't have any symptoms at all or will have only mild symptoms, the CDC says. The most common symptoms are:

  • 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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The number of cases of Zika, the virus that causes potentially deadly birth defects, is continuing to rise in Florida.
Zika, US, Florida, Miami Beach
592
2016-13-15
Thursday, 15 September 2016 06:13 PM
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