The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has reported an additional three Zika virus cases today, all in pregnant women, according to a daily update. All three women contracted the virus while traveling outside the US.
Health officials, out of respect of the privacy of these women, is not providing names or any demographic info including county. The total number of travel-associated Zika virus cases now stands at 32.
Today, after learning of three pregnant women in Florida who tested positive for Zika virus after traveling from outside the U.S., Governor Rick Scott requested the CDC send 250 additional Zika antibody tests to the state.
In addition, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong testified today before the United States Congress Transportation and Public Assets Subcommittee on Florida’s response and preparations to the Zika virus, based on CDC guidance, to ensure residents and visitors are safe.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and the robust epidemiological and public laboratory infrastructure we have at the Florida Department of Health we’ve been able to stay ahead of Zika virus,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “We have a rich history of managing emerging public health threats in Florida and we are committed to keeping residents and visitors safe in our state.”
Florida has taken a proactive approach to combating Zika virus that has gained national attention. On Feb. 3, Governor Scott directed State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong to issue a Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the counties of residents with travel-associated cases of Zika. The Declaration currently includes the 11 affected counties. Each week day, Dr. John Armstrong issues a Zika virus update to keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the Zika virus. Dr. Armstrong was the only state-level official in any state to be asked to present.
Per the request of Governor Scott, the department has received antibody test kits from the CDC and purchased active Zika tests to maintain an adequate level of readiness. The department has provided guidance, based on CDC recommendations, to health care professionals – particularly those who treat pregnant women.
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