Florida state health officials have reported today an additional case of Zika virus infection in Seminole County, the first case there and the 29th case seen in Florida.
The Declaration of Public Health Emergency has been expanded to include the county, the 11th to date.
All cases are travel-associated. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Florida. None of the confirmed cases involve pregnant women.
Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus are symptomatic. Zika fever is a mild illness. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Signs and symptoms of Zika fever may include: acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Treatment is symptomatic since there is no specific treatment against the virus. Illness typically resolves within a week.
The Ministry of Health of Brazil has reported an increase in the numbers of newborns with microcephaly in areas experiencing Zika virus outbreaks. Further studies are being conducted to investigate this concern. There are many causes of microcephaly in babies, including genetic abnormalities, environmental factors, and some infections acquired during pregnancy.
Travelers to a tropical or sub-tropical area (Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America), can protect themselves from Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases by following these prevention suggestions: Using insect repellent, covering skin and choosing a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors or sleeping under a mosquito bed net when outside or in a room that is not screened.