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Zika Virus Transmissions Confirmed in Florida

Date:

08/01/2016


Zika Virus Transmissions Confirmed in Florida

From the United States Department of State. More info at: http://www.state.gov/ofm/notes/emergency/index.htm

On July 29, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was informed of four cases of local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika by the state of Florida in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. While there have been previous travel-associated and sexually transmitted cases of Zika, as well as mosquito-borne transmission in U.S. territories, these cases represent the first cases of mosquito- borne transmission of Zika in the continental United States.

Additional sporadic cases may occur throughout the summer mosquito season. However, due to climate, environmental conditions, and infrastructure conditions (e.g., the use of air conditioning and window screens), and based on the pattern of past outbreaks of the related dengue virus, the CDC does not believe that large, sustained outbreaks of Zika will occur in in the continental United States. The main mosquito species that carries Zika virus (Aedes aegypti) is present mainly in the southern United States.

This is an evolving situation, and the latest information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html (CDC) and http://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2016/07/072916-local-zika.html (Florida Department of Health). OFM encourages foreign missions to check the aforementioned CDC website for information on mosquito populations and risk levels, as well as Zika prevention guidance, for their particular locale or travel destination. State health departments are also excellent sources of information.

Federal agencies are working closely and proactively with state and local health officials to prevent the further spread of the virus and protect the safety of residents and travelers. These activities include mosquito control and surveillance, improving diagnostic capacity, ensuring the safety of the blood supply, and providing guidance to healthcare providers and the public.

Further, CDC Emergency Response Teams (CERT) stand ready to deploy to locations within the United States that confirm local Zika transmission. CERTs are made up of highly trained public health experts who can augment state and local authorities’ efforts to identify cases, test specimens, roll out public information campaigns, and launch enhanced vector control strategies.

Question concerning this matter may be sent to OFM-EmergencyMgt@state.gov.


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