Important Health Information - Zika Virus

FSCJ is committed to the safety and health of its students, faculty and staff and is working with the Florida College System and Duval County Health Department to monitor the Zika outbreak.

As of August 1, 2016, Florida has confirmed local transmissions of the Zika virus in one small, less than one-square mile area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown. Florida’s small case cluster is not considered widespread transmission.

There are no other areas in Florida where active transmission is occurring. If the department identifies an area of concern, we will notify the media and the public immediately.

General Information about Zika

Zika is a mild febrile illness caused by a mosquito-borne virus similar to those that cause dengue and West Nile virus infection. It has been identified in several countries in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean since 2015. Outbreaks have previously been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Local transmission has also been reported in Puerto Rico. Cases of Zika fever have been reported in travelers returning to the United States.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus are symptomatic. Zika fever is a mild illness. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Signs and symptoms of Zika fever may include: acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Treatment is symptomatic since there is no specific treatment against the virus. Illness typically resolves within a week.

A diagnosis of Zika is based on the presence of symptoms and recent history of mosquito bites and can be confirmed through blood or urine tests.  Persons are usually treated with common pain and fever medicines, rest and plenty of water. Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for the disease.

Prevention

It is important to avoid mosquito bites in areas where there is transmission of Zika virus. The mosquitoes that transmit Zika are very aggressive and are known to bite during the daytime. The Florida Department of Health and the CDC both provide information on mosquito bite prevention (see resource list below). Individuals should do the following:

  • Take appropriate measures to reduce exposure to mosquito bites
  • Use insect repellant that contains DEET, Picardin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535
  • Treat outer clothing with Permethrin or purchase Permethrin treated clothing
  • Wear light colored clothes that cover arms and legs
  • When inside, use air conditioning or ensure windows and doors are screened.
  • Use indoor foggers to treat areas where mosquitoes may rest
  • Weekly eliminate standing water in flower pots, vases, or other items that hold water
  • Outside your home empty any items that hold water like buckets, planters, tires
  • Cover large water storage containers such as rain barrels
  • Use larvicides for large containers of water that will not be used for drinking water
  • Use outdoor flying insect spray under patio furniture, your garage or carport
  • Stay up-to-date with CDC Travel Alerts on potential risks

For more information about the transmission and spread of the Zika Virus:

  1. Mosquito bite prevention
  2. Safe sex practices
  3. Duval County Health Department updates
  4. Mosquito Bite Protection in Florida
  5. Zika Information for Pregnant Women

The Zika Virus Information Hotline for Florida residents and visitors can be reached at (855) 622-6735 and additional information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

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