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Zika Virus Hits Florida

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Fifteen cases of the Zika virus were reported in Miami, Florida since late July. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 5500 cases of Zika virus cases have been reported in US territories, and another 1825 cases in US states and DC since August 3, 2016. Eleven countries in South America, including Brazil, has been hit hard by the Zika virus.  With the Olympics in Rio this year, it has been of special concern for global visitors attending the games to transport the virus back to their home countries.

Pregnant Women Most At Risk

If a pregnant woman contracts Zika through mosquito bites, it can cause brain defects like microcephaly in her baby. The illness can also be passed from men to their pregnant partners. The CDC advised pregnant women to avoid areas already identified with Zika cases to reduce their risk for contracting the disease.  Only a blood or urine sample can detect the Zika antibody or virus. Pregnant women are recommended to get tested early whether they show any symptoms, or not. To protect yourself from contracting the disease, the CDC suggests using a mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeved shirts and pants, not traveling to areas already identified with Zika cases, and using protection during sex.

Prevention is Key

Other cities concerned with protecting its vulnerable population; women in their childbearing years and their partners.  They include Laredo and Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Savannah, GA, New Orleans, LA, and New York City.  Each area prepared preventative treatment plans for several reasons. Either they have large populations, a presence of virus carrying mosquitoes or have communities that hale from South America or the Caribbean.  Preventing the Zika virus means reducing the mosquito population.  City officials ask their residents to clear their yards of tires and other debris where water can collect; a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  The risks will reduce in most US cities with colder weather.

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