Blood donations banned in two counties; England warns pregnant women against travel to Florida
I predicted earlier this year that our country would start seeing cases of “home-grown” Zika sometime this summer.
Sure enough, Florida is reporting four cases of locally-contracted Zika.
Four individuals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have been infected with the Zika virus by local mosquitoes, Florida health officials said Friday.
These are the first known cases of the virus being transmitted by mosquitoes in the continental United States.
“While no mosquitoes trapped tested positive for the Zika virus, the department believes these cases were likely transmitted through infected mosquitoes in this area,” according to a statement from the Florida Department of Health.
…Officials believe the local transmission is confined to a small area north of downtown Miami within a single ZIP code. However, local, state and federal health officials are continuing their investigation, which includes going door-to-door to ask residents for urine samples and other information in an effort to determine how many people may be infected. Additional cases are anticipated.
As a result, the FDA has temporarily banned blood donation in two Florida counties.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking blood centers in two Florida counties to immediately stop collections. The counties are investigating possible local transmission of Zika virus.
In a notice sent to blood centers and posted on the agency’s website Wednesday evening, the FDA said it is requesting all blood centers in Miami-Dade or Broward counties to “cease collecting blood immediately” until those facilities can test individual units of blood donated in those two counties with a special investigational donor screening test for Zika virus or until the establishments implement the use of an approved or investigational pathogen-inactivation technology.
And now health agencies are recommending that pregnant women avoid travel to the Sunshine State.
Pregnant women should avoid all non-essential trips to Florida because of the potential for contracting the Zika virus, UK officials have said, as thousands of Britons are expected to visit the popular tourist destination.
Public Health England updated its travel advice after the first cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes on the US mainland appeared in the state. PHE has said the risk in the southern US state is moderate, while in many countries in South America, including the Olympics host Brazil, it is high.
I have another prediction: Florida will not be the only state reporting locally-contracted Zika before the summer ends.DONATE
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