Three pregnant women in Florida have been diagnosed with Zika virus, State Surgeon General John Armstrong announced in his public report, Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Three Confirmed Cases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends performing antibody testing to pregnant women who have been to nations with Zika epidemic. Out of the several women tested, three emerged to have a positive history of the mosquito-borne infection.
To preserve the privacy of the identified patients, the state did not divulge further personal information about the patients, including the counties where they live in.
Armstrong reports that Governor Rick Scott tapped CDC to send 250 further antibody testing kits to Florida after confirming the three new cases.
Before the latest disease confirmation, Governor Scott ordered General Armstrong to start a Zika Virus Information Hotline to aid present residents and tourist in Florida, as well as for other people who would like to visit the state soon.
So far, the Department of Health-managed hotline, was able to assist about 683 callers since it started.
To ensure that all Floridians and future visitors are safe and efficiently informed of Zika's status in the state, Armstrong will issue an update every weekday at 2 p.m. His report will include the number of ZIka cases per county, as confirmed by the CDC. Ultimately, Armstrong will provide tips to prevent the infection.
Public Health Advice
So far, all cases of Zika virus in Florida are linked with travels. This means that there have been no cases acquired locally. With this, the CDC recommends all pregnant and planning to be pregnant women to avoid travel to Zika-affected countries.
"It is recommended that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas," says Armstrong.
Armstrong also advises people to drain whatever stagnant water they have at home, regardless of amount. Even a couple of water drops, such as in bottle caps, may be used by mosquitoes for breeding.
Armstrong also recommends applying mosquito repellents when going outdoors.
Zika In Florida
Florida is on its toes as Zika virus continues to plague some parts of the world. On Feb. 3, Governor Scott ordered General Armstrong to release a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for counties with residents known to have travel-associated Zika virus. At present, 11 counties are included in the list.
Florida has also amped up their Zika-testing force, as the state is said to have what it takes to examine about 4,793 individuals for active infection and 1,195 people for antibodies.
Photo: Enrique Dans | Flickr