Dec 14, 2016

CDC Declares Florida Zika-Free

By on 6:47 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared Florida to be free of the Zika virus, but emphasized the need for caution.

The CDC noted, "There have been no new cases of local Zika virus transmission identified in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, suggesting that the risk of Zika virus infection is no longer greater than in the rest of Miami-Dade County."

Miami-Dade County continues to carry a yellow area designation, meaning it's a cautionary area. Pregnant women in Miami-Dade County remain eligible for Zika virus testing.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden praised Florida's rapid response and comprehensive mosquito control program for interrupting Zika transmission, but noted that "... we must stay vigilant and also take what we have learned and be prepared for next season."

As of December 8, a total of 4,575 cases of Zika had been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii, according to CDC. These cases include 185 locally transmitted mosquito-borne cases in Florida, 38 cases believed to be the result of sexual transmission, and one case that was the result of a laboratory exposure.

While Florida has been declared Zika-free, the same cannot be said for all U.S. states. Texas just confirmed four new local cases.

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.


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