Zika Virus Update: News From Across the Nation

By on 8:00 AM

The Zika virus continues to spread across the country. Reports of new cases are published daily.

Here is a summary of some of the most significant Zika virus news from the past week. Note: To learn more about the Zika virus and why people in the United States should be aware of the disease, read "Zika Virus: 10 Things to Know."

1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its "Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for Infants and Children with Possible Zika Virus Infection."

2. CDC published a Q&A for healthcare providers caring for infants and children with possible Zika virus infection.

3. Florida declared a public health emergency for Seminole County on February 23. This brings the total number of counties affected so far to 11. In addition to Seminole County, they include Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Santa Rosa and St. Johns.

4. Florida health officials reported three pregnant women from the state contracted the Zika virus while traveling to countries with local-transmission of Zika. As of February 24, a total of 32 cases of Zika virus have now been reported in Florida. All of the cases were acquired outside the state.

5. CDC announced it is investigating more than a dozen new reports of sexually transmitted Zika virus.

6. U.S. Olympic Committee Doctor Bill Moreau testified about the virus on Capitol Hill, sharing steps the committee is considering to prepare athletes and staff for the Brazil games.

7. CDC is ramping up production of Zika tests, and is expected to have 1 million available by early March.

8. CDC added Trinidad and Tobago and the Marshall Islands as destinations to interim travel guidance related to Zika virus. CDC has issued a travel notice (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

Outside of the United States, the Czech Republic has its first reported cases of Zika and China's health authority has issued a warning that the virus may spread as weather warms up. The country has confirmed five imported cases of the virus.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.