Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Zika Virus Detected In Seminole County, Florida

Map of Florida counties where Zika cases have been detected. Credit: Brevard Times


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida – According to Florida Surgeon General Dr. Armstrong’s Zika report for February 23, 2016, the first case of the Zika virus has been reported in Seminole County which now means that four contiguous counties in East Central Florida have reported at least one case of the Zika virus. The total number of Zika cases in Florida has risen to 29 as of Tuesday.


A public health emergency, declared by Florida Governor Rick Scott earlier this month, was extended to all counties where the Zika virus has been detected. Florida's Surgeon General extended that public health emergency to Seminole County on Tuesday.

Seminole County's Office of Emergency Management is encouraging its residents to visit www.prepareseminole.com for the latest Zika virus information in Seminole County. 

The Zika virus is spread by bites from two mosquito species: Aedes aegypti (primarily) and Aedes albopictus, both found in Florida. Although local transmissions have not occurred in the Sunshine State, local transmissions are possible if a Zika infected visitor or returning traveler is bitten by Florida mosquitoes that then spread the virus to other people they bite.  In addition to the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can also transmit dengue feverChikungunya virusWest Nile virus, and Yellow Fever.

Aedes aegypti mosquito
Aedes aegypti mosquito. Credit: University of Florida Entomology & Nematology
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.

Florida Governor Rick Scott directed the State Surgeon General 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 number for the Zika Virus Information Hotline is 1-855-622-6735.

Florida counties where the Zika virus has been detected as of February 23, 2016:


County
Number of Cases (all travel related)
Alachua
1
Brevard
1
Broward
4
Hillsborough
3
Lee
3
Miami-Dade
11
Orange
2
Osceola
1
Santa Rosa
1
Seminole
1
St. Johns
1
Total
29