Zika Florida Cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are updating their guidance for pregnant women regarding the Zika virus. The new information means asymptomatic pregnant women don't have to get the commonly used IgM test. The announcement comes as public health officials are increasingly worried about the risk of false positives. 

courtsey: Donald Goldberg

An adult aedes aegypti mosquito measures about six millimeters. That’s roughly a quarter of an inch. Yet for weeks this summer, it looked to threaten a $26 billion a year industry that underpins the South Florida economy -- tourism.

The bug remains a big public health worry -- so much so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that pregnant women stay away from all of Miami-Dade County -- but it in its early months, hasn’t hurt tourism.

Brutal

But try telling that to Donald Goldberg, manager of the Wynwood Diner.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

It has been more than two months since the Zika virus was found in Miami-Dade County and almost three-fourths of voters surveyed in a new WLRN-Univision 23 poll are satisfied with the response by county government.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

The mayors of Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach on Sunday accused the Florida Department of Health of lying after the state agency said last week that it never told local officials to hide the locations in Miami Beach where mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus were captured.

C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD

More money is coming to fight Zika.

On Thursday Governor Rick Scott announced that he would allocate $25 million dollars in state funds to help fight the mosquito-borne virus. This is in addition to the $36 million he has already allocated for combating the virus, which can cause severe birth defects.

The governor says the state must focus on finding a vaccine to protect pregnant women and their developing babies. Thus the latest funding from Scott is slated to go toward research into finding a vaccine and a more cost-effective way to test for the disease.

Miami Herald

Recently, Daniel Chang of the Miami Herald published a piece about the Florida Department of Health's underreporting of Zika cases. Shortly after that piece, the DOH sent out a rebuttal (see below). We spoke with Chang about where he got his information and what questions the state has refused to answer.

What is your take on the DOH's rebuttal of your story?

Sammy Mack / WLRN

Late last fall, Dr. Christine Curry was at a faculty meeting with her colleagues when the conversation turned to new reports linking the Zika virus to a surge in microcephaly in infants in Brazil.

"I think it’s fair to say that most obstetricians had never heard of this virus a year ago," said Curry, who is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Local transmission of Zika by mosquitoes has been confirmed in Miami-Dade and Broward County. What does this mean for South Florida residents?

The Environmental Regulation Commission recently voted for new standards for more than 80 different toxic chemicals, some of them carcinogens, and just how much of each we’re going to allow in our water supply. Environmental groups claim we are putting Floridian’s health in danger. We’ll take a closer look at exactly what it is we’re putting in our water.

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