The Florida Department of Health reported 15 new travel-related cases of Zika were confirmed across Florida in their daily update on Friday, including Sarasota’s second case, according to the DOH website. Manatee County cases remain at three.
The department reported no new non-travel related cases. Other counties reporting new Zika cases include three in Broward, three in Pinellas, one in Collier, one in Hillsborough and one in Orange. Of the 15 new cases reported Friday, five involve pregnant women.
To protect from all mosquito borne diseases, residents should cover their skin with long clothing and EPA-approved repellant while outside day or night.
Sarah Revell, media and marketing manager for the Florida Department of Health
According to a DOH press release, the agency continues door-to-door outreach and targeted testing in Pinellas, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties with the continued belief that the non-travel Zika cases remain limited to areas of Wynwood and Miami Beach in Miami-Dade County.
Friday’s numbers brings the travel-related cases in Florida to 545 while non-travel related cases remain at 45. The DOH reports 75 Zika cases have been confirmed in pregnant women, who continue to be advised to be tested if they have recently traveled to known Zika areas.
Pregnant women can obtain Zika test kits through their medical provider or their local county health department. The Manatee County Health Department is now referring all media questions to the DOH.
DOH media and marketing manager Sarah Revell said, “Whenever a new case of Zika is confirmed, the county health department works closely with local mosquito control districts to ensure appropriate follow up occurs through spraying, searching for mosquito breeding areas and educating residents on how to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
Revell noted that Zika patients are advised to avoid mosquito bites while they are symptomatic by wearing long clothing, using repellant and staying indoors.
“To protect from all mosquito borne diseases, residents should cover their skin with long clothing and EPA-approved repellant while outside day or night,” Revell said. “It is also critical for people to drain all sources of standing water around their home or property, like bird baths, flower pots, buckets and other yard debris or equipment that may hold water.”
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water or a bottle cap of water, so draining water is critical to keep mosquitoes from multiplying, she noted. “Residents should also make sure screens are intact on doors and windows to help mosquitoes outside,” Revell added.
Gov. Rick Scott activated the Zika Virus Information Hotline on Feb. 12 and concerned citizens can call 855-622-6735. More than 4,900 people have called the hotline since it was enacted by the state surgeon general.