FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ZIKA UPDATE
The Florida Department of Health today is announcing that the first sexually transmitted Zika case in 2017 has been confirmed in Pinellas County. There is no evidence of transmission through mosquitoes taking place anywhere in Florida.
While the individual had no travel, their partner recently traveled to Cuba and was ill with symptoms consistent with Zika. Both tested positive for Zika. The department notified mosquito control and appropriate mosquito reduction activities are taking place.
There is no evidence of ongoing transmission of Zika by mosquitoes in any area of Florida. It is important to remember Zika can also be transmitted sexually and to take precautions if you or your partner traveled to an area where Zika is active. If the department identifies an area where ongoing transmission of Zika is taking place, we will notify the public immediately.
The total number of Zika cases reported in Florida in 2017 is 118.
Note, these categories are not mutually exclusive and cannot be added together.
It is critical for people who recently traveled overseas to an area with Zika to prevent mosquito bites for at least three weeks after they return home. It is also important to reduce the chance of sexual transmission by using condoms. CDC has issued additional guidance related to sexual transmission and prevention.
Before you travel, check to see if your destination is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of areas with Zika.
If you traveled to an area with Zika, you could have become infected and not know it, and you could spread the virus in your community if you do not take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites or sexual transmission after you return home. Zika can persist in semen over extended periods of time. Pregnant couples with recent travel to areas with active Zika transmission should consider using condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.
According to CDC guidance, providers should screen all pregnant women in the US for possible Zika exposure and symptoms at each prenatal care visit. Additional CDC guidance on screening and testing can be found here. At Governor Scott’s direction, all county health departments offer free Zika risk assessment and testing to pregnant women.
The department urges Floridians to take action around their home and business to reduce the mosquito population. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water so it is critical to drain all sources of standing water to keep mosquitoes from multiplying. Residents and visitors should also use mosquito repellent day and night to prevent mosquito bites.
The department updates the full list of travel-related cases by county online each weekday. To view the list of travel-related cases by county and year, click here.
For more information on Zika virus and the status of Zika in Florida, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/zika.