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Zika News

Ali Bay
(916) 440-7259

September 28, 2016


Health Officials Urge Californians to Remove Standing Water
Rains Can Lead to More Mosquitoes

SACRAMENTO – California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today called on the people of California to help reduce the number of mosquitoes by eliminating standing water, especially in areas that have recently had rain and continue to experience warm temperatures.

“Rainy weather can create new breeding grounds for mosquitoes if water is allowed to pool and remain stagnant,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Mosquito season in California peaks in October, making it critically important that Californians take action to empty even small amounts of water from our gardens and yards.”

To help control mosquitoes, check your yard weekly for water-filled containers. Clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly, and dump the water from dishes under potted plants. Contact your local vector control agency if you detect unusual numbers of mosquitoes or you are being bitten during the day.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, an aggressive mosquito that bites during the day, has been detected in 12 California counties. This black-and-white striped mosquito has the potential to transmit Zika and other diseases, such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. While the mosquito is especially active two hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset, it can also bite during the day. These mosquitoes often enter buildings through unscreened windows and doors and bite people indoors.

While there has been no local transmission of Zika in California, as of September 23, 302 travel-associated cases have been reported in the state.

Zika symptoms typically include a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Most people infected with the Zika virus will not have symptoms, but Zika is a major concern in pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. In addition to Zika, West Nile virus, another mosquito-borne illness, continues to concern public health officials.

To prevent mosquito bites, apply repellents containing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). During the times mosquitoes are most active you should wear long- sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes. Be sure window and door screens are in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

More information about Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can be found on the CDPH website and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Sept. 1, 2016 (850) 617-7737


Twitter: @FDACSNews

Miami-Dade Mosquitoes Test Positive for Zika

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has detected Zika in three mosquito samples from a small area in Miami Beach. The mosquitoes from Miami Beach that tested positive for Zika are from an area where increased trapping and intensified mosquito control measures are occurring due to the investigation of local transmission led by the Florida Department of Health. Ninety-five additional samples have been submitted by Miami-Dade County after the date of the positive submission, and the mosquitoes have tested negative for Zika.

“This find is disappointing, but not surprising. Florida is among the best in the nation when it comes to mosquito surveillance and control, and this detection enables us to continue to effectively target our resources. Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach, and state and federal partners will continue to work aggressively to prevent the spread of Zika,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

“Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control team continues its proactive and aggressive response to reducing the mosquito population throughout the County,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “As it has been from the beginning, our goal is to eliminate the cycle of transmission by eliminating the mosquitoes. In the 1.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach where locally-acquired cases of Zika were confirmed, Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control team conducted nearly 2,000 proactive inspections, abatement and treatment of mosquito breeding and adult mosquito activity, and three truck sprayings throughout the area, and in an additional extended area. I am confident that by working together with our community, with the City of Miami Beach and Mayor Levine, the Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we will continue to reduce the mosquito population and keep our community safe.”

“Miami Beach will continue to take a hardline in our fight against Zika. We are aggressively working to eliminate any and all potential mosquito breeding grounds. We are also working closely with our partners at the state and the county to ensure all resources are effectively deployed. Together we can contain and eliminate all cases of Zika. We need Congress to do its part to provide the necessary emergency resources to properly combat the spread of this virus,” stated Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

The positive mosquito pools were collected in Miami Beach within the current zone that has been treated for local transmission. Scientists with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tested the samples at the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee, and the samples were then sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Gulf Coast University for confirmation.

Florida’s proactive efforts, which are conducted by local mosquito control programs and supported by the expertise provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, include: eliminating larval habitats by emptying standing water, treating water-holding containers with long-lasting larvicide, providing outdoor residual and spatial insecticide treatments to reduce adult vectors, and conducting adult mosquito surveillance to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

Now that Zika-positive mosquitoes have been identified in surveillance traps in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control team will continue to conduct inspections to reduce mosquito breeding and perform spray treatments as necessary in a 1/8-mile radius around the trap location.

Floridians can help prevent the spread of Zika by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water around their homes, businesses and communities.

On February 2, 2016, the Florida Surgeon General declared a public health emergency in regards to the Zika virus. Floridians can assist in Zika-related response efforts by draining standing water and allowing officials who are conducting mosquito control efforts to access their property.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has tested more than 2,470 mosquito samples, consisting of more than 40,000 mosquitoes, since May, and these three samples are the first to test positive.

To access a copy of the mosquito declaration, click here.

For more information on the Zika virus, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website at FloridaHealth.gov.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visitFreshFromFlorida.com.
Ali Bay
(916) 440-7259
End of Summer Travelers Urged to Take Precautions to Prevent Zika

SACRAMENTO – Travelers coming back from the Olympic Games in Rio and other vacation spots where the Zika virus is spreading are urged to take precautions upon return to help prevent the spread of the virus in California. While the virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, it can also pass from one person to another during sex.
Aedes Aegypti – Zika Mosquito

“Summer travelers who spent time in Brazil or any other region with Zika-infected mosquitoes can protect themselves, their families and community members by taking a few simple steps,” said California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Continue using insect repellent to prevent spreading the virus to mosquitoes in your community upon your return and refrain from unprotected sex so you don’t pass the virus to your partner.”

Men and women should use condoms for at least eight weeks after travel, and men who have tested positive for Zika should use condoms for six months to prevent transmission to their partners. Travelers returning from an affected region should also continue using insect repellent for three weeks to prevent the virus from spreading to mosquitoes, which might then infect others.

“Pregnant women and couples planning to have children need to be especially cautious because Zika can cause significant harm to a developing fetus,” said Dr. Smith. “Pregnant women who have traveled to an area with Zika should inform their doctor upon return, and couples returning from an affected area should speak with a doctor before getting pregnant.”

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly. Two infants with Zika-related microcephaly have been born in California this year to women who had Zika virus infections during pregnancy after spending time in an area where the virus is circulating in mosquitoes.

While mosquitoes that can carry the virus have been found in 12 California counties, there is no evidence these mosquitoes are transmitting Zika in the state at this time. A team of experts across several disciplines at CDPH is working closely with local public health departments, vector control agencies and the medical community to ensure that California is responding aggressively and appropriately to the emerging threat of Zika virus.

As of August 19, CDPH has confirmed 170 travel-associated Zika virus infections in 26 counties. A total of 24 infections have been confirmed in pregnant women.

For more information about Zika, visit the CDPH Zika website, which includes the following resources: