Zika

FIU Panel Offers Reassurance On Zika

Feb 3, 2016
Cynthia Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

There's no need to panic about zika, experts told concerned South Florida residents at a panel discussion at Florida International University on Wednesday.

 

Although nine cases of the virus had been confirmed in Florida as of Wednesday morning, all of those cases were contracted outside the United States, said Matthew DeGennaro, an FIU mosquito researcher.

Six new cases of travel-related Zika were confirmed this week in Florida.

That’s according to the Florida Department of Health, which reported the cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.  That brings the number of Florida cases to nine total, none of them in pregnant women. All are believed to be contracted by someone traveling outside of Florida.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Mario Stevenson is a respected virus expert. He heads the infectious diseases division at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He’s done pioneering research on HIV.

But until last year he’d barely registered Zika.

“Four months ago,” Stevenson told me, “I thought Zika was an Italian football player.”

He’s since learned Zika is a mosquito-borne virus – one that’s marauding so badly throughout Latin America and the Caribbean that the World Health Organization this week declared it a global health emergency.

jentavery / Flickr

The first cases of zika have been confirmed in Florida, and experts say more small-scale outbreaks are likely here.

 

At least three cases of the virus have been confirmed in Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County, according to multiple news reports. Matthew DeGennaro, a mosquito researcher at Florida International University, says he expects to see more cases, although the outbreaks will not be nearly as large as the ones ravaging the Americas.

 

Fernando Vergara / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

In response to Latin America’s sudden outbreak of Zika – the insect-borne virus tied to a serious fetal brain defect – some of the region’s countries are telling women to shun pregnancy for months if not years.

We can debate whether that strategy is appropriate. Rights groups, for example, have a point when they say it puts an unfair if not unrealistic onus on women when the focus should be eradicating mosquitoes.

What do you want to know about the Zika virus?

We asked our audience, and on Jan. 26 we posed their questions to NPR global health correspondent Jason Beaubien and South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in a live video Q&A, moderated by Goats and Soda editor Malaka Gharib. Garcia-Navarro participated from Rio de Janeiro.

Health Officials: 3 In Florida Have Zika Virus

Jan 20, 2016

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed three cases of Zika virus in Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County.

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