Detecting local spread of Zika virus is difficult for several reasons:
- The incubation period for Zika virus infection is up to two weeks,
- Many infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and
- Diagnosis and investigation of cases may take several weeks.
For this reason, it is possible that other neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County have active Zika virus transmission that is not yet apparent.
CDC is working closely with Florida state and local health officials to review current testing recommendations.
CDC support for Florida
CDC has been working with state, local, and territorial health officials to prepare for the possibility of locally transmitted Zika virus in the United States. Officials from Florida participated in all these activities, and their experience in responding to mosquito-borne diseases similar to Zika virus disease has been an important source of knowledge in this effort. To date, CDC has provided Florida more than $8 million in Zika-specific funding and about $27 million in emergency preparedness funding that can be used toward Zika response efforts. Next week, CDC will provide Florida with more than $2.6 million in Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funding that can be used to support Zika response efforts. These funds are part of the $44 million of PHEP funding that was included in the Zika emergency supplemental passed by Congress in September.
Since February, CDC has sent enough materials to Florida for approximately 11,025-12,600 Zika antibody tests, including materials for 6,300 tests shipped in August in response to Florida Governor Scott's request. CDC's Atlanta and Fort Collins, CO, laboratories are also assisting by testing specimens from pregnant women for the Florida Department of Health and are working with Florida on other possible support for Zika lab testing. As of October 11, 5 CDC personnel were deployed in Florida and 8 are pending, with a total of 30 since the beginning of the response, including 12 CDC laboratory staff.
It is understandable that women will be especially concerned, and there are things that everyone can do based on what is currently known. While there are still many unanswered questions about Zika, CDC is working hard to find out more about these infections. Here is what is known:
- Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus).
- Zika virus can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth (periconceptional/intrauterine/perinatal transmission). We do not know how often this happens.
- Zika virus infection is associated with birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes, especially microcephaly.
- A person who is infected with Zika virus can pass it to sex partners.
- Most people infected with Zika virus won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
- No vaccines or treatments are currently available to treat or prevent Zika infections.
As of October 12, 2016, 3,936 cases of Zika had been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii, including 878 pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika infection. These cases also include 32 believed to be the result of sexual transmission and one case that was the result of a laboratory exposure.
For more information about Zika: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.
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SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention