First Zika Related Death in Texas

Henrietta Brewer
August 11, 2016

The health department is now conducting three investigation on potential local Zika transmission: inside one square-mile Miami-Dade area; outside the one square-mile area; and in Palm Beach County.

So far Texas has logged 99 Zika cases, including the two infants.

As of August 3rd, a total of 573 people have been tested in Wisconsin, resulting in 18 confirmed travel-related Zika virus cases. Including the newest case, Florida authorities have now found 22 cases of people who appear to be infected without having traveled outside the areas where the Zika virus is circulating. "We are devastated to report our first case of Zika-associated death and our hearts go out to the family".

That number has stayed steady, Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health, told GHN after an agency board meeting. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should choose an EPA-registered insect repellent and use it according to the product label. However, local health departments are watching for them. Mosquitos, which are the primary carriers of the disease, account for somewhere between six to seventeen transmissions that have occurred in the United States.

"The fact that we have reduced the mosquitoes by 96% and if we continue to have caution and have preventive measures, then it will be safe", said said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Florida reaches closer to the tropics than any other state in the continental USA, and Aedes aegypti is basically a tropical insect. "It is our duty here in the make sure that we promote awareness and prevention to all residents so they can protect themselves from the virus". Florida Health also said it is investigating where one other case-patient from outside the identified area contracted Zika virus.

"These types of mosquitoes feed on people and so what we'd been doing is watching those populations around positive cases and keeping the numbers down", Chris Kumnick, with the Georgia Department of Public Health, said.

In Wynwood, officials said insecticide spraying has reduced the mosquito population. Four more nontravel-related cases were reported in South Florida.

Those at highest risk of contracting the virus are women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

There's now a travel warning for pregnant women and their partners, not to travel to the Wynwood community while Zika is prevalent. She knows as well as anyone that congressional Republicans won't heed her advice: They certainly haven't listened to other calls for a shortened recess from their Democratic counterparts or Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the only GOP members to push for more robust funding.

Zika was first detected in Brazil previous year and has spread rapidly in the Americas. Although there have been more than 1,800 diagnosed cases of the virus in the USA, the vast majority of them were contracted outside of the country.

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