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Feds Helping Miami Deal With Zika Outbreak

Feds Helping Miami Deal With Zika Outbreak

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By    |   Thursday, 27 October 2016 04:52 PM

Federal health officials are reaffirming their support to Miami, pledging to help the city  overcome its current Zika outbreak.

In a statement Thursday, the CDC outlined the steps it is taking to help Miami-Dade County fight the Zika outbreak, which is currently spreading in parts of Miami and Miami Beach.

“Despite this progress, Zika remains unpredictable, and we can’t let down our guard,” Frieden said in a statement Thursday.

“The CDC is committed to working with state, city and county officials to provide people living in or traveling to Miami-Dade County with transparent, timely and complete information, and to prepare for possible continued spread of Zika in the months to come,” he added.

He also noted as evidence that the efforts to contain the virus are working:

  • Miami-Dade County officials interrupted the spread of Zika virus in Wynwood with a comprehensive integrated pest management program that included aerial spraying.
  • Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach are currently reporting low mosquito trap counts.

Also on Thursday, the CDC and Florida officials presented a seminar to obstetricians and gynecologists to make sure they had information on the federal agency’s current policies regarding sexual transmission of the virus.

The Zika virus is mostly spread by mosquitos, but it can also be spread through sexual intercourse, so on Sept. 30, the CDC published update recommendations that, among other things, call on all women who have been exposed to the virus in Miami-Dade County get tested.

For couples planning to conceive who do not live in a place where the virus is actively spreading, the CDC recommends that men who may have been exposed to the virus by traveling where the virus is being transmitted wait at least six months before trying to conceive.

Zika increases the risk of a particularly devastating birth defect known as microcephaly, in which babies are born

To date, the CDC has provided Florida with more than $38 million in emergency preparedness and Zika funds, technical assistance and staff to support the response, thousands of Zika test kits and materials for Zika Prevention Kits, and educational materials, the statement noted.

Also on Thursday, Florida state health officials reported the number of Zika cases in Miami-Dade County continues to climb.

The state confirmed one additional person has been infected with homegrown Zika in Wynwood. As the person became symptomatic in July, the CDC still considers that neighborhood to be free of locally transmitted Zika.

In addition, 14 new travel-related cases were confirmed; four in Miami-Dade, and one each in Collier, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Seven more cases involving pregnant women were also confirmed.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Florida to 1,093, a tally that includes 181 people infected by homegrown Zika, as well as 765 travel-related infections, officials say.

The state is following 122 pregnant women infected since the outbreak began.

Wynwood was the first Zika hot zone in Florida, but that area is now considered clear of infection. A 4.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach and the one-square-mile Little River neighborhood are the only places in Florida where Zika is being locally transmitted, the CDC says.

While there are thousands of travel-related cases of Zika in the U.S., health officials are most concerned about disease that is spread by homegrown mosquitos.

The CDC has recommended that pregnant women steer clear of Miami Beach, and also that they avoid unessential travel in all of Miami-Dade County.

Pregnant women who must travel to the impacted area should protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent, long clothing and limiting their time outdoors.

The Zika virus can make anyone sick for up to a week with the following flu-like symptoms:

  • 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.

The CDC advises people returning from travel to areas where Zika is present should continue to wear mosquito repellant for three weeks and refer to the agency’s published guidelines regarding sexual transmission of the virus.

 

 

 


 

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As Zika continues to spread in Miami, the CDC reaffirmed its support to local officials who are dealing with the outbreak of the virus.
US, Zika, virus, CDC, mosquito
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2016-52-27
Thursday, 27 October 2016 04:52 PM
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