Zika Virus is ‘Under Control’ in Florida Despite Rising Number of Cases

By Arvin Matthew Paculaba, Parent Herald March 15, 04:00 am
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United States health officials said Americans shouldn't be too concerned about the rising Zika cases in Florida. They assured the general public that the country is more equipped in combatting the virus than South American nations.

Karen Harris, the chairperson of District 12 of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told The Florida Times-Union via Jacksonville News that she has been handing out Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to each of her pregnant patients. She said women have become more inquisitive on how to prevent mosquito bites during pregnancy.

According to Miami Herald, the Zika count in Florida has reached 60 this week. Four of those cases involved pregnant women while only one acquired the virus outside the state.

The CDC website reported that a total of 193 Zika cases have been confirmed in the US between Jan. 1 and March 9. Florida leads all states in ZIka cases followed by New York, Texas and Illinois.

The Zika virus is widely-considered to be a vector-borne disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. However, recent studies have found links between Zika and birth defects in children whose mothers acquired the virus during their pregnancy. In the US, majority of the cases involve touring men passing the virus to their partners through sexual contact.

Mobeen H. Rathore, the chairperson of the Baptist Health Infection Prevention and Control Committee said Zika could spread even more in the US since the Aedes aegypti mosquito is already nesting in 32 states. On the other hand, he reasoned that the country's better living conditions, mosquito control and healthcare system will stop Zika from becoming an epidemic.

Jill Bodden, the Women's Services chief at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, revealed that health care providers have been getting more questions from pregnant women about the dangers of Zika. That said, expectant mothers aren't overly worried if they haven't been out of the country.

"They're aware, but there is no panic or anything like that," said Bodden. "It's very calm. They understand the seriousness of it, but there is no need to panic at this time."

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