Feb 5, 2016

Florida Gov. Scott Declares Zika Virus Emergency in Multiple Counties

By on 9:24 AM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a public health emergency in five Florida counties due to the Zika virus.

The counties, as of February 5, are as follows:
  • Broward
  • Miami-Dade
  • Hillsborough
  • Lee
  • Santa Rosa

To date, Florida has confirmed nine travel-related cases of the Zika virus, none of which have been pregnant women.

Zika is spread to people through mosquito bites. This is the same mosquito — from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions — that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Aedes mosquitos are common in Florida.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. They usually last 2-7 days. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. However, an outbreak in South America has led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.

Gov. Scott has requested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide at least 1,000 Zika antibody tests (Florida currently has the capacity to test only 475 people.) The antibody test allows the state to see if individuals ever had the Zika virus. Gov. Scott has also requested that the CDC conduct a conference call to help train Florida hospital workers — especially OB/GYN physicians and those who work with pregnant women — on how Zika is spread, its symptoms, treatments and proper precautions.

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika. The best method of prevention is to avoid mosquito bites. Help reduce the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.

Healthcare providers are encouraged to report suspected Zika cases to their state health department to facilitate diagnosis and mitigate risk of local transmission.

Phenelle Segal of Florida-based Infection Control Consulting Services provides infection control and infection prevention education and services to a variety of healthcare facilities and organizations including, but not limited, to hospitals and health systems, ambulatory surgery centers, physicians practices, dentists and nursing homes. Services include accreditation survey preparation, infection prevention risk assessment, development of infection prevention programs, infection prevention training and much more. Contact Phenelle Segal by clicking here.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS), which is based in Delray Beach, Florida. Phenelle has more than 30 years experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes to implement and maintain an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission (TJC), Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies, respond to situations of noncompliance, and improve the processes for reducing risk.


Post a Comment