Zika virus and sexual transmission

What's Going Around week of July 18th, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the Florida Department of Health announcing that Miami may have the state’s first case of locally acquired Zika, the threat of the virus is all too real and all too close to home.

Preventing mosquito bites has been a key step in reducing your risk of getting the zika virus. But did you know that practicing safe sex can also reduce your risk? After the discovery of the first known case of female to male sexual transmission was reported in New York, the CDC is further emphasizing the importance of safe sex. 

Doctors are concerned about the potential of transferring the virus outside of a mosquito bites. "Here's another reason that you could potentially get infected from unprotected intercourse and not even know you have the symptoms," said Dr. Ali Kasraeian with Kasraeian Urology.

Only one out of five people who are infected with the virus show any symptoms whatsoever. Dr. Kasraeian says what makes matters worse is that the symptoms of Zika can mimic the flu.

"People get a fever, they get join pains, they get a rash... if you have any of those things, you need to talk to a doctor," said Dr. Kasraeian.

The latest report from the CDC shows there are now 15 cases of sexual transmitted Zika in the U.S.

In total, 311 cases of travel-related Zika have been confirmed in Florida. With more people spending time outdoors in the summer, Dr. Kasraeian reminds you and your family to not let your guard down in the fight against mosquito bites.

"Make sure you wear covered clothing, use EPA approved insect repellant​ and be careful around standing bodies of water," said Dr. Kasraeian.

If you and your partner have plans to travel to a Zika-endemic area,  the CDC recommends using condoms or not having sex for at least 8 weeks after traveling.

Men who have been diagnosed with the Zika virus should use condoms or abstain from sex for at least 6 months.

After your trip, you should see a doctor if you notice any flu like symptoms. For more information, you can check out www.cdc.gov/zika or the Florida Department of Health website at: www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus/


What's Going Around

In Duval County at the Care Spot on the Southside: nurses there say they have had a pretty quiet week. 

In Clay County at the Care Spot in Middleburg: they've had several people treated for heat exhaustion. The heat and humidity is also increasing the number people with skin infections. Summer-related injuries, and viral respiratory infections have also been reported.

In St. Johns County at the Healing Arts Urgent Care in St. Augustine: their message to people is to hydrate! They're mainly treating patients with heat-exhaustion, especially from out-of-town visitors who aren't used to the Florida heat.

In Nassau County at the Care Spot in Yulee, they've seen a number of UTI's. Doctors say this is another reason why it's so important to hydrate. Strep throat and sinus infections are also keeping nurses busy.