Zika cases continue to climb in California as FDA recommends more tests

As reported by the L.A. Daily News:

Zika continues to affect Californians as another 19 people have tested positive for the virus, though none of them contracted it locally, state health officials announced Friday.

The tally has reached 189 cases of travel related Zika this week, including one person from the City of Long Beach. San Bernardino County began the month with 7 cases. There are now 30 reported.

The new figures were released the same day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued revised guidelines that recommend all blood donations be tested for Zika.

“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

California health officials last week urged travelers returning home from the Olympics, as well as countries where Zika is spreading, to continue to wear insect repellent and to practice safe sex for several more weeks to help prevent the spread of the virus in the Golden State. While Zika is spread primarily through the bite of the black-and-white-striped Aedes mosquito, the virus also can be passed through sex, health officials said, and babies born to mothers who are infected have a greater chance of having birth defects. Two women in California gave birth to two babies with microcephaly, a condition in which a child’s head is significantly smaller than expected. …

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California Zika virus cases inch up to eight

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News:

California public health officials on Friday reported that two more cases of Zika virus have surfaced in the state since Jan. 1, bringing the total to eight.

Half of those have been in Bay Area counties. Contra Costa County has reported two cases, with San Francisco and Napa counties reporting one each.

Health officials said all of the residents had contracted the virus after traveling in countries where the Zika virus is present. None of the individuals is considered contagious.

The Napa County resident is pregnant, meaning that her baby is at risk of having a birth defect.

While the Alameda County Public Health Department confirmed that …

Experts Divulge More Info on Zika Virus at Sacramento Forum

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

A panel of experts spoke Saturday about the prevention, care, and transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus at a community forum hosted by the UC Davis Health System.

In February, Yolo County had one confirmed case of the virus. The infected, unnamed person had been traveling outside of the U.S., but made a full recovery, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The California Department of Public Health website reports that as of Friday, there have been three confirmed cases of the virus in California this year and 10 in the state since 2013. Zika is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Fever, rash, reddening of eyes and joint pain are common symptoms.

“The virus and the mosquito are found mainly in tropical and subtropical areas, and recently there have been outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County health officer. Currently, there is no vaccine or medication available to treat Zika, Kasirye said. …

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Health Warnings About Zika Virus Increase — 5 Californians Infected

As reported by the San Bernardino Sun:

Concern about Zika virus arriving to the United States from abroad rose Tuesday after federal health officials posted additional travel alerts about two more countries affected by the mosquito-borne disease.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included the United States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic on the list of now two dozen countries and territories where Zika has been present. Last week, the CDC advised pregnant women to avoid travel to Central American, South American and Caribbean countries, including Puerto Rico.

There is no evidence of any local transmission of the Zika virus in the United States federal officials said, but it has been reported in travelers returning home. Five people in California who had traveled abroad came down with the virus, beginning in 2013, state health officials said. One adolescent girl from Los Angeles County, who had traveled …

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