Florida Reports 89 Travel Related Zika Cases

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, such as microcephaly

Disney crowds

The State of Florida Health Department reported a year to date total of 91 confirmed Zika virus cases, as of November 24, 2018. 

Unfortunately, this update published on ZikaFree.com says there have been 68 pregnant women diagnosed with the Zika virus during 2018. 

And, 1 infant born with Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). 

CZS is unique to fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, such as microcephaly.  

Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly. 

In a CDC Report published in August 2018, the agency revealed that pregnant women infected with Zika have a 1 in 7 chance of delivering a baby with neurological abnormalities or birth defects. 

Zika virus is an illness caused by a mosquito-borne virus similar to those that cause dengue and West Nile virus infection. Common symptoms include fever, rash, and muscle pain, though only 1 in 5 cases is symptomatic, says the CDC.

The good news in this Florida Health report is that no cases of locally acquired Zika have been reported during 2018.

Moreover, there are no areas of ongoing, active Zika transmission in Florida.

And, the 89 of 91 confirmed Zika cases during 2018 are ‘travel-related.’

To continue alerting international travelers, the CDC issued numerous Travel Alerts during 2018.

As an example, the CDC’s Travel Alert for the US Virgin Islands updated during August 2018, says ‘Pregnant women should NOT travel to areas with risk of Zika, because Zika infection during pregnancy can pass the virus to her fetus.’

Additionally, the CDC says all travelers to areas with risk of Zika should do the following:

  • prevent mosquito bites,
  • use condoms or not have sex to protect against Zika during travel,
  • And travelers should continue to take these precautions after their trip to stop the spread of Zika to others back home.

Since the Zika outbreak is a confusing situation, the best advice the CDC offers to every woman is to speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist regarding your personal situation.

Recent Zika virus news:

The State of Florida was an early leader in limiting the Zika outbreak.

In early 2016, after identifying the first travel-related cases of Zika in Florida, the department established an incident management team (IMT) to prepare and respond to the threat of Zika. 

While states awaited Federal funding in 2016, Governor Rick Scott used his executive authority to invest $62 million to prepare and protect Florida’s residents and guests.

Florida residents and visitors should always take precautions to protect against mosquito bites, as this is the best way to prevent Zika, says Florida Health on its website.