The Florida Department of Health recently updated constituents on the status of Zika cases from Tallahassee, assuring residents that only five new cases have been reported and that all resulted from travel outside the country.
The health department emphasized that none of the Florida Zika cases were locally acquired. Two instances were located in Miami-Dade County; one was in Okaloosa; one in Orange, and one involves a woman who is pregnant.
The division is currently investigating circumstances and has engaged Dr. Marc Fischer to develop a survey model for handling data. Fischer, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, reviewed protocols this week with staff at DOH-Broward and DOH-Miami-Dade to ensure proper procedure and methodology and appropriate training.
Florida’s DOH has a strong surveillance system for mosquito-borne illness. It is working with CDC, Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and county mosquito control boards to ensure that all proper safety measures are enforced to protect both residents and visitors.
The Florida DOH requests that residents and visitors voluntarily submit urine samples in the areas impacted by the investigation to help the department tally the number of individuals who may be affected by the disease.
CDC reminds residents that Zika virus symptoms generally present mildly, with rash, fever and joint pain lasting between seven and 10 days. Zika prevention kits and repellent are available in the affected areas via local OBGYN offices and at both Broward and Miami-Dade health departments.