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Nine More Homegrown Zika Cases Found in Miami

Nine More Homegrown Zika Cases Found in Miami

(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 October 2016 05:45 PM

Nine new cases of homegrown Zika were confirmed as occurring in the greater Miami area on Wednesday, as Florida's  Zika tally continues to mount.

In addition, four new travel-related cases of the virus were confirmed on Wednesday, Florida state health officials say. 

Additionally, there is one person who had traveled to an area outside of Florida with widespread Zika transmission as well as in Miami, so it was deemed impossible to determine where infection had occurred.

That case was added to the state’s “undetermined” category, officials say.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Florida to 1078, a tally that includes 180 people infected by local mosquitos, as well as 758 travel-related infections, officials say.

Of the homegrown Zika, one case is linked to the Miami Beach hot zone, and another to the Little River neighborhood in Miami, where the most recent cluster of locally transmitted virus was identified.

Also, six local cases are linked to Miami-Dade County, and an investigation is underway to find out where those infections occurred.

An additional case of homegrown Zika was linked to Wynwood, but that does not affect that neighborhood’s status as a zone free of locally infected mosquitoes, the state says.

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

Three of the travel-related Zika cases occurred in Broward County, and the fourth involved a pregnant woman, officials say.

To date, 115 pregnant women have been identified with the virus.

Zika increases the risk of a particularly devastating birth defect known as microcephaly, in which babies are born with severe brain damage, 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.

Currently, homegrown Zika is believed spreading in only two areas of the U.S., both located in Miami-Dade County.

These zones area 4.5-square-mile swath of Miami Beach, which includes touristy South Beach; and a one-mile area in Miami known as the Little River neighborhood.

The CDC also recommends that pregnant women exercise caution, and avoid unessential travel in all of Miami-Dade County

The federal requires 65 days to pass from the time a new case is confirmed to lift travel advisories.

Miami Beach officials are hoping that the city’s mosquito eradiation efforts, coupled with cooler fall temperatures, result in a lifting of the advisory before the tourism season begins in earnest there.

The state’s Zika case tallies lag about four-to-six weeks behind the current date because they focus on when cases are confirmed, and that is generally how long the testing procedure takes.
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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State officials say the number of homegrown Zika cases in Miami continues to rise with another nine confirmed.
Zika, US, Miami, Beach, microcephaly
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2016-45-26
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 05:45 PM
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