Officials In Florida Seem Much Less Concerned About Possible Zika Outbreaks
Although the Zika virus no longer seems to worry most people living in areas where outbreaks had occured in the past, many people are nevertheless curious about possible future outbreaks. Even if outbreaks of Zika do return in the future, many Americans and other people around the world are now well educated regarding Zika prevention methods. But is the disease gone for good? Does it still infect people living in isolated regions of the world where medical services are nearly non-existent? What is the likelihood of Zika returning to the United States? Whether the Zika virus is a concern to you or not, these are questions that many people are anxious to have answered. Researchers and public health officials cannot accurately predict the chances of future Zika outbreaks. Luckily, researchers are making significant progress towards the development of an effective Zika vaccine. But this is the only Zika related news we are hearing about lately. However, it may make some Americans feel better to know that officials in the state of Florida do not seem too concerned about future outbreaks occurring within the state. As you can all remember, many residents of Florida became directly infected with Zika from disease carrying mosquitoes. Last year in Florida the Zika virus was a serious enough concern to prompt multiple mosquito eradication programs, and public health officials were actively spreading Zika prevention tips to residents. A Zika hotline was also established for residents with questions concerning the virus. A few days ago, the Zika hotline was shut down in response to the dramatic drop in Zika infection rates in the state.
According to Alison Hewitt with the Duval County Health Department, Zika infection rates are so low that there is no reason for the Zika hotline to continue operating in Florida. Hewitt announced the discontinuation of the Zika hotline during a Jacksonville City Council committee meeting last Tuesday. Hewitt explained that public health officials in the state were successful at decreasing Zika infection rates. In addition to that, a surprising amount of Florida residents complied with the order to remove standing water from their properties. Some politicians in the state enacted laws requiring businesses to remove standing water from their premises. During the 2016 year three hundred Zika cases were transmitted within the state. This does not include travel related Zika cases in Florida. Amazingly, 2017 has seen only two Zika cases transmitted within the state. This decrease in Zika infection rates is welcome news to residents of Florida and the rest of America.
Did you even hear about Zika infections occurring within US borders during 2017?