Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Zika Virus Detected In Brevard County: Public Health Emergency Expanded


UPDATE: Zika Virus Now In All Major Florida Tourism Counties

TALLAHASSEE – As of February 17, one new Zika case has been confirmed in Brevard County. As a result, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Declaration of Public Health Emergency has been expanded to include Brevard County.


Brevard County Mosquito Control inspectors are canvassing homes and businesses in the county to spread the word on preventive measures residents can take to avoid the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Enhanced mosquito control protective actions have been implemented in Brevard County to combat container-breeding mosquitoes, County officials say. The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can carry the Zika virus, are not produced in wetlands or other typical habitats – roadside ditches, retention ponds, swales - normally associated with mosquito production.

“We are currently working with residents and businesses in the county on disposing of mosquito-producing containers by distributing leaflets and through conversations,” said Chris Richmond, Mosquito Control environmental scientist. “We are also treating various containers that cannot be dumped or drained. We have crews out all day collecting tires from illegal waste tire piles countywide. We are spraying for adult mosquitoes in various neighborhoods.”

The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are daytime feeders, take cover by nightfall and do not travel far. One of the primary prevention tips is for homeowners to inspect for mosquito breeding areas around their homes, such as old tires, gutters that collect leaves and debris and containers that might hold standing water.

In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virusWest Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.


Brevard County Mosquito Control has been on the lookout for those types of breeding areas because the mosquitoes that breed there are the same species that carry Dengue and other viruses.

Florida counties where the Zika viras has been detected:

County
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Alachua
1
Brevard
1
Broward
4
Hillsborough
3
Lee
3
Miami-Dade
7
Osceola
1
Santa Rosa
1
St. Johns
1
Total
22
















According to the CDC, babies born with the Zika virus transmitted from their mothers who contracted the disease while pregnant have developed microcephaly - a disease which causes the babies' brains and heads to shrink. Maternal-fetal transmission of Zika virus has been documented throughout pregnancy and pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester.

Last week, Governor Rick Scott directed State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to activate a Zika Virus Information Hotline for current Florida residents and visitors, as well as anyone planning on traveling to Florida in the near future. The hotline, managed by the Department of Health, has assisted 439 callers since Friday. The number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.