Florida governor declares
health emergency in four counties over Zika
Send a link to a friend
[February 04, 2016]
TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida
Governor Rick Scott declared a public health emergency in four counties
with travel-related cases of the Zika virus on Wednesday, and ordered
state officials to increase mosquito control efforts in some of the most
populous parts of the state.
"Although Florida’s current nine Zika cases were travel-related, we
have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of
the Zika virus in our state," Scott said in a statement.
The counties are Miami-Dade in south Florida, Hillsborough in the
Tampa Bay region, Lee County in southwest Florida and Santa Rosa
County in the Florida Panhandle.
Scott directed the state's surgeon general to declare the public
health emergency, and for state officials to pay special attention
to mosquito spraying in residential areas in those counties.
Florida is the third most populous state in the country.
The mosquito-borne virus, which is rapidly spreading in the
Americas, has been linked to a spike in birth defects in thousands
of babies in Brazil.
The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on
Feb. 1, citing a "strongly suspected" relationship between Zika
infection in pregnancy and microcephaly, a condition marked by
abnormally small head size that can cause permanent brain damage in
[to top of second column]
Scott noted in an executive order that the type of mosquito that
transmits Zika is common in Florida, where a warm climate provides
for a nearly year-round mosquito season. The virus, first identified
in 1947 in Uganda, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Bernard Orr)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.