Centers for Disease Control Allocates $1.4 Million To Combat Zika In Florida
By Dr. James Palermo // July 9, 2016
220 travel-related zika cases reported in florida
With Florida second in the nation in travel-related cases of the Zika virus at 220, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has earmarked $1.4 million of the $25 million that it has allotted for states to fight the mosquito-borne illness.
Florida’s share is among the country’s largest because the threat of Zika is so high here.
The illness is primarily spread by the same mosquito that spreads dengue and yellow fever, and the types of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are common in Florida, where mosquito season is year-round.
CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes says the states will decide how to distribute the money. “Jurisdictions can use these funds to identify and investigate a possible outbreak, to coordinate a response across all levels of government, to identify and connect families affected by Zika to community services,” Haynes said.
The funding can also be used to support Zika preparedness and response capacity in areas where mosquitoes are known to transmit the virus; to improve mosquito control programs; to build virus surveillance and education efforts; and enhance laboratory capacity to test for the Zika virus.
In addition, Florida received $26.8 million from the CDC for emergency preparedness, some of which, according to Hayes, will also be used to combat Zika.
Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott declared a health emergency in Florida. “We have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state,” Scott said in a statement. “We know that we must be prepared for the worst even as we hope for the best.”
“Those states where we’ve seen the highest number of travel-related cases, that’s considered a public health emergency for them,” Haynes said.
The Florida Department of Health has a robust mosquito-borne illness surveillance system and is working closely with the CDC, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and local county mosquito control boards to ensure that the proper precautions are being taken to protect Florida residents and visitors.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE BREVARD COUNTY HEALTH NEWS