Health officials in Florida report investigating an additional non-travel related Zika virus case today in an individual in Palm Beach County who had recently traveled to Miami-Dade County. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) points out that this does not mean active transmission of Zika virus is occurring in Palm Beach County.
The source of the infection continues.
DOH has begun door-to-door outreach and sampling in the area and mosquito abatement and reduction activities are also taking place. DOH still believes active transmissions are only taking place within the identified area that is less than one-square mile in Miami-Dade County.
This brings the total non-travel related cases to 17; however, to date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports only six cases meet the case definition of a locally acquired mosquito-borne case.
Following today’s announcement, and with the 2016-17 school year approaching, Governor Rick Scott has directed the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Board of Governors to partner together to provide critical Zika prevention guidance and resources to students, parents, educators and district leaders across the state.
“DOH, DOE and the Florida Board of Governors will begin distributing Zika teacher toolkits and materials for school districts, public state colleges and public universities to help educate students and their families, Scott said.
“All districts and public education facilities will also be connected with their local health departments for the opportunity to train school clinic nurses and staff on Zika prevention.”
Governor Scott is directing DOH, DOE and BOG to take the following actions:
- Distribute to each school district office, public college and public university posters, palm cards, door hangers and other education materials that can be displayed throughout campuses and sent home with students;
- Send mosquito repellent to school districts, public state colleges and public universities in Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin, Monroe and Palm Beach counties;
- Share with K-12 educators, principals, parents and other education stakeholders the Florida Department of Health’s Zika teacher toolkit, which includes messages and activities that can be incorporated into teachers’ lesson plans and used at home;
- Issue informational Zika awareness and prevention materials to VPK and other school readiness programs throughout the state;
- Provide each school district, public college and public university with contact information for the local health department, which can train school clinic nurses and staff on prevention and symptom identification; and
- Encourage all education leaders to have protocols in place to promptly address suspected Zika cases.
In addition to the investigation into another non-travel associated Zika case today, health officials report six new travel-related cases today with two in Miami-Dade County, two in Hillsborough County, one in Polk County and one in Leon County. This is Leon County’s first travel-related case of Zika and they have been added to the Declaration of Public Health Emergency.
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