With the number of people diagnosed with Zika virus reaching 9 in Florida, the Governor Rick Scott called an emergency in the four counties. The health officials say that all the victims have contracted the virus while on travel. The virus is spread by mosquitoes, and the state was in a state of alert declaring an emergency to counter the spread of the virus. Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the virus. The mosquito is the primary vector of the infection and is prevalent in the southeast portion of USA. During the winters the virus population is low.
The nine cases of Zika virus is travel related, but the state is in a state of preparedness to combat the disease. In a statement, Scott said that the Department of health is in touch with the county health offices, Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hospitals. Scott added that they were prepared for the worst expecting only the best. Reports say that the disease has not spread in the US as it can be transmitted by mosquitoes. But the health department is careful as outbreaks may happen with the weather warm. The local health department in Dallas reported a case of Zika virus transmitted sexually.
Orders are out to the state health officer to take action to protect the health of the public and to the commissioner of agriculture to curb mosquito population. It can help reduce the spread of the virus through mosquitoes. Some of the symptoms of the virus include rashes, fever, and fatigue. The condition can last for about a week. It may be noted that the virus has resulted in a birth defect called microcephaly in Brazil. It is characterized by a small head and brain.
The risk of Zika virus transmission has moved the emergency operations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Level 1. In a statement, the agency said, “The Level 1 activation is “reflecting the agency’s assessment of the need for an accelerated preparedness to bring together experts to focus intently and work efficiently in anticipation of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes.”
The CDC staff will be ready to combat the disease round the clock in case of critical emergency. Some of the other levels of Level 1 activations included Ebola, H1N1 influenza in the year 2009 post-Hurricane Katrina. The virus is spreading throughout America informs World Health Organization. It is treated as a Global Threat.
Meanwhile, the operations center is focused on developing tests for diagnosing Zika virus. Studies are conducted to find out if it is related to microcephaly, a birth defect and also Guillian-Barre syndrome a paralysis. Studies are on to find out if there was an outbreak in the past.