There is No Vaccine for the Zika Virus, Take Precautions
Florida health officials are investigating their 1st case of suspected homegrown Zika virus outside of the Miami area, raising the possibility that the virus may have spread to the Gulf Coast region of the state.
Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that state health officials are investigating the case of suspected homegrown Zika in Pinellas County, which is located in the Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg area.
4 new cases of homegrown Zika in the Wynwood section of Miami are also being investigated.
A top US health official has warned that the next area of local transmission could well be the Gulf Coast, which could lead to other states, like Louisiana and Tennessee being affected.
Gov. Scott says state health officials “have begun door-to-door outreach and are taking samples there, while initiating mosquito abatement measures.”
Pregnant women are being offered Zika tests, he added.
The confirmation of locally transmitted Zika virus in Miami Beach cases last Friday prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel advisory recommending that pregnant women steer clear of that city, in addition to Wynwood, and as well as Miami-Dade County as a whole.
There was no mention of any new Miami Beach cases in the statement.
The Zika virus is considered particularly dangerous because it is linked with the severe birth defect known as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with small heads and brain damage.
In adults, it has caused a smaller number of neurological problems, most notably Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The Zika virus can make one sick for up to a week with the following flu-like symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, prevention essential.
Health experts say do not panic, they recommend taking these precautions, as follows:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed
- Use repellents to keep mosquitoes away
- Use air conditioning and window screens if possible
Call your health care provider if you are at risk of infection.