Zika In Florida: Cases Rise To 199; What To Do For A Safe Summer Getaway

By Rachel Cruise, Parent Herald June 21, 09:52 pm

Summer in Florida, where many of the world's biggest amusement parks are located, is supposed to be a fun time for families. But threats of Zika might be forcing parents to reconsider their family's vacation. What must be done to enjoy a safe summer gateway in the Sunshine State? Here are some facts you need to know about Zika in Florida and its potential risks.

Zika In Florida: Cases On The Rise This Summer

Florida's Department of Health is on the alert as the summer heat has been predicted to trigger the increase of Zika cases. Patch reports that there are already 199 recorded cases in the state as of Monday, June 20. From these cases, 39 pregnant women have been confirmed with the Zika virus.

Local state officials are proactively finding solutions to keep Zika in Florida at bay. Per Health News Florida, mosquito control groups in the health department are laying more traps and hiring more staff to do spraying and surveillance regularly.

It should be noted that even before the Zika outbreak, Florida has been enforcing mosquito control measures in the state because of its environment. "In the past, our community has faced West Nile virus, dengue fever and chikungunya, with only a handful of locally transmitted cases," said Gayle Love of the Miami-Dade county.

Zika In Florida: Pack Right For Travel

The CDC advises travelers to known Zika territories to protect themselves. Travelers have to ensure they don't get bitten by mosquitoes, the known carriers of the Zika virus.  If you're heading to Florida with family, make sure to pack right to protect yourselves. Among the items to take on your trip include:

- Insect repellents, to apply and reapply on exposed skin.
- Protective clothing, such as long pants and shirts with long sleeves, or those laced with permethrin.
- Mosquito net for cribs, baby carriers and the kids' beds.
- Condoms for parents, as Zika virus is also known to be transmitted sexually.

After your vacation, keep using insect repellent and condoms at least 3 weeks when you return home, per Fox Business. If any members of the family show symptoms, don't hesitate to seek a doctor for check-up.  Learn more about the Zika virus in this video below:

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