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Four Floridians Infected with Locally-contracted Zika

Four Floridians Infected with Locally-contracted Zika

Blood donations banned in two counties; England warns pregnant women against travel to Florida

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aedes_aegypti#/media/File:Aedes_aegypti_during_blood_meal.jpg

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.

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Comments

Washington and Tallahassee let us down, no Zika funding, no real plan, and almost every American visitor to the Zika Brazil Olympics will be changing planes in Miami.

These Zika infections happened less than 10 miles from me. My baby was born safely last month & I can only hope the disease has no effect on newborns.

You should be more careful when you quote the Guardian. The only quotation in the Guardian article is this:

“More than a million British nationals visit Florida each year. The updated travel advice from Public Health England, which comes as many are expected to visit the state’s theme parks this summer, reads: “The risk in Florida is considered moderate based on the number and spread of cases and their demonstrated ability to implement effective control measures for similar diseases such as dengue – a virus transmitted by the same mosquito.

“Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel to affected areas until after the pregnancy. At present, only a zone of about one square mile in Miami-Dade county is considered to be at risk of active transmission.” Experts in the UK recently urged expectant mothers to avoid travel to the Olympics in Brazil, which has been hit hard by the disease, and parts of the US, including Florida.”

That quotation does not justify your sub heading “pregnant women warned against travel to Florida”.

I also cannot find any official announcement directly from Public Health England – only via the BBC.

Your photo and your text have an alarmist tinge.

    Thanks, gibbie, I have modified the subhead to reflect that the warning comes from British health officials.

      1) I don’t see any change in the subhead.

      2) A change to the subhead “to reflect that the warning comes from British health officials” would still contain the falsehood that some British official “warns pregnant women against travel to Florida”. It’s discouraging that you don’t seem to understand the basic problem here.

        The link I provided in my comment above is to England’s NHS website. There is no falsehood.

        Perhaps this ABC News article is authoritative enough if you think England’s National Health Service is inaccurate for whatever reason.

          This is fascinating! Here is the relevant section of the NHS warning:

          “Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel to affected areas until after the pregnancy. At present, only a zone of about one square mile in Miami-Dade county is considered to be at risk of active transmission.”

          Here is the subhead:

          “England warns pregnant women against travel to Florida”

          Here is the ABC News article:

          “England Warns Pregnant Women to Delay Travel to Florida”

          A reasonable interpretation of the NHS warning is that pregnant women should avoid travel to “a zone of about one square mile in Miami-Dade county”. Florida has a surface area of 65,755 square miles.

          One of the problems with journalism is its lack of precision. I would like to think that at least in LI I didn’t have to fact check articles.

          Faithful are the blows of a friend.

          You don’t. The text you cite is quoted in the above article. Subheads have a limited number of words, but they are not the entire post (that would be more like Twitter). If the necessary brevity of subheads bothers you, you may find it less stressful to skip them and read the post’s content.

          When you suggest I might “find it less stressful to skip them and read the post’s content”, to which “post” are you referring? The LI post does not contain “the text I cite”.

          You started out complaining that no British “official” (your scare quotes, not mine) warned against travel to Florida by pregnant women, yet the NHS did indeed issue such a warning. That you, personally, couldn’t find anything beyond the Guardian article or a BBC report might be a reason to ask the writer or myself for further information, but that is not what you chose to do. The NHS recommend, in the link I provided, that pregnant women postpone / delay travel to Florida, presumably until they are no longer pregnant. At which point, they will not be “pregnant women” as noted in the subhead, but will instead be new mothers to whom the warning would not apply anyway.

          The LI post does contain the text that you provided, perhaps not every word, but sufficient to make the point and provide the interested reader a link for further reading. We do not cite entire articles from news sites or posts from blogs at LI; instead, we quote key portions and provide links to the relevant sources should a reader wish to read the text in full. One would imagine that a pregnant woman with plans to travel to Florida during her pregnancy would do a bit of research about Zika by clicking a link or two or would, at the very least, speak with her OB-GYN.

          You also initially complained about the featured image being alarmist; it’s a mosquito. Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes, and this image is particularly relevant to a post about the Zika cases in Florida because they were, specifically, contracted by mosquito bites. It is a suitable, if unoriginal (it is used on a lot of Zika posts both here at LI and around the web), featured image.

          You are picking a nit here, so unless you have an actual problem with the content of this post, I will consider this matter resolved.

Puerto Rico is another excellent place to avoid.

In the zika department, PR has a big head start on Florida. The first locally acquired case in PR was identified last December.

CDC estimated two weeks ago from contamination rates of donated blood that two percent of the population is being infected per month, and that up to a quarter of the population will be infected by the end of the year.

About 32,000 babies are born in Puerto Rico annually. Even though it’s not a state, PR is going to cost the United States a great deal of money very soon.

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