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Florida declares Zika health emergency

Updated: December 14, 2019 Published: 2016-02-04

( - Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a public health emergency in four counties with travel-related cases of Zika virus, and ordered state authorities to increase efforts to control mosquitoes in some of the most populated areas of the state .

"Despite the current nine cases were Zika Florida related travel, we have to ensure is prepared and stay ahead of the spread of Zika virus in our state of Florida," Scott said in a statement.
The Miami-Dade counties are in South Florida Hillsborough Tampa Bay region of Lee County in Southwest Florida and Santa Rosa County, in northwestern Florida.
Scott directed Surgeon General to declare state emergency public health, and state officials to pay special attention to the mosquito spraying in residential areas in those counties.
Florida is the third most populous state.
The mosquito-borne virus, which is spreading rapidly in the Americas, has been linked to an increase in birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil.
The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on February 1, citing a "strong suspicion" relationship between infection during pregnancy and Zika microcephaly, a disease characterized by the size of the abnormally small head which may cause damage permanent brain in newborns.
Scott said in an executive order that the type of mosquito that transmits Zika is common in Florida, where warm weather forecast mosquito season almost all year. The virus, first identified in 1947 in Uganda, is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

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