Zika Virus Risk Went Beyond Florida’s Miami-Dade County
Local transmission of the Zika virus in Florida may have occurred as early as 15 June of last year and likely infected people who lived not only in Miami-Dade County, but in 2 nearby counties, US health officials said Monday.
The warning means that some men who donated semen to sperm banks in the area may not have been aware that they were at risk of infection, and may have donated sperm infected with the Zika virus, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told reporters in a telephone briefing.
The information is concerning because Zika has been shown to cause birth defects in women who become infected while pregnant. Previously, the CDC had warned of the risk of Zika in Miami-Dade County, beginning on 29 July.
But the new warning dials that risk back to 15 June, and adds in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties, home to the major tourist destinations of Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
Zika’s arrival in Florida last Summer followed the rapid spread of the mosquito-borne virus through Latin America and the Caribbean.
The World Health Organization (WHO last year declared Zika a global health emergency because of its link in Brazil with thousands cases of the birth defect microcephaly, which is marked by small head size and underdeveloped brains that can result in severe developmental problems.
US officials said because of frequent travel between the three Florida counties, some women may have been infected and not been aware of it, either through contracting the infection directly from a mosquito bite while visiting Miami-Dade or through sex with an infected partner who had.
And because Zika has been shown to last up to three months in semen, it may mean some men living in the affected counties may have donated sperm without reporting they were at risk.
A CDC Zika expert said the risk applies “particularly (to) women who became pregnant or are planning to become pregnant through the use of donor semen.” She urged these women to “consult their healthcare provider to discuss the donation source and whether Zika virus testing is indicated.”
The new warning came to light through investigations of several cases of Zika reported by the Florida Health Department late last year that suggested residents of Palm Beach or Broward counties may have become infected while traveling back and forth from Miami-Dade. According to the CDC, a total of 215 people are believed to have contracted Zika in Florida last year through the bite of a local mosquito. But since only 20% people infected with Zika become ill, experts believe the actual number was higher.
Officials said they were not aware of any women who contracted Zika from infected semen donated to one of the 12 sperm banks in the 3-county area. There is no approved test for Zika in sperm.
She said the CDC does not have any new evidence of local Zika transmission, but said it may occur again in the coming year, adding that the CDC was “on the lookout for additional cases of Zika.”
A recent CDC study estimates that Zika infections cause a 20 fold spike in the risk of certain birth defects, including microcephaly.
Some Health Tips: Avoid the beach at twilight, dawn, and dusk. Pack a cover-up and wear it. Request a room on your hotel’s higher floors. And do not forget your bug spray preferably Organic and non toxic ones.
Last August during the height of the Zika virus panic I met and spoke at lenghht with R. Charles Murray, Founder/CEO Penta 5 USA and learned that he has succeeded in developing a new class of products that can halt a Mosquitoe’s appetite for human Blood.
Penta 5’s products are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Marketed under the brand name SECURE™ no-bite the line consists of lotions and “Zone Attractants.”
The latter take the form of pouches that are filled with dry and liquid patented compounds which when combined and shaken produce a gas emission that attracts mosquitoes.
The emission confounds the mosquito’s appetite for a protein “bloodmeal” and in so doing ensures a zone of up to 400 sqf for up to 15 days.
Continual use maintains a safe no-Bite Zone. No less effective, the SECURE™ Anytime™ lotion permits users to work and play in areas outside the zone infested by “bloodmeal” seeking mosquitoes without the fear of being bitten.
Mr. Murray told me that “SECURE™ no-Bite Zone attractants have been shown to effectively reduce mosquito populations and therefor reduce the risk of dangerous bites. Also, that only the female mosquitoe seek ‘bloodmeals,’ meaning the iron and proteins of which are used to form eggs.
SECURE™ no-bite Zone 15 day emission confounds the female mosquito causing her to seek nectar as a replacement meal. Penta5’s SECURE™ Anytime™ lotion allows people to move outside of the Zone, remain bite-free and significantly, the product poses no threat to children, pets or wildlife.”
Under test in both laboratory and outdoor conditions for the past year the release of SECURE™ no-bite products now as the Zika virus breaks out over South Florida is an important safety issue for the population and the commercial interest of the State of Florida.
Penta 5 USA LLC is the wellness product division of PPi Technologies GROUP. The PPi Technologies GROUP of companies are all based in Sarasota, Florida. For more information go to: penta5usa.com/