Zarzaur Law TV: Zika Virus Update from Board Certified Internal Medicine

Zarzaur Law TV: Zika Virus Update from Board Certified Internal Medicine
Published: October 4, 2016

In this video, Pensacola Auto Accident Attorney Joe Zarzaur and Board Certified Internal Medicine Doctor, Dr. Evan Malone discuss the dangers of the Zika Virus & updates that have occurred over the past few months.

As of October 2016, The CDC has issued an alert for travel to areas where Zika virus is spreading, which now includes Miami-Dade County, Florida. Travelers who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should consult a doctor.

If you are a loved one have a question about the Zika Virus, call Zarzaur Law P.A. today at: 855-HIRE-JOE.

UPDATE: The Gulf Coast & The Zika Virus

UPDATE: The Gulf Coast & The Zika Virus
Published: August 1, 2016

Pensacola Law FirmWe’ve seen it coming for months. Zika has been moving with hurricane intensity throughout South America and the Caribbean, appearing for the first time in 42 countries in the Western Hemisphere in less than two years. Originally thought a mild infection, Zika’s unanticipated ability to cause serious fetal abnormalities startled scientists and health officials into taking the virus much more seriously.

Experts have been warning for months that the U.S. mainland was vulnerable, too, especially southern states that still harbor Aedes aegypti, the principal mosquito species involved in Zika transmission. So it should come as no surprise that last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health confirmed what we’ve all been expecting: four locally transmitted cases of Zika in Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward counties, all apparently acquired in the same part of Miami. Ten more cases were confirmed on Monday, and it is very likely more will come to light over the coming weeks.

Staff Physician Consultant, Dr. Evan Malone, explains “Due to the documentation of domestic infection (South Florida), prevention strategies AT HOME should be at the top of the personal protection list, including transmission via sexual intercourse (i.e. infected individual (from mosquito) transmits the virus to non-infected individual).”

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is notorious for efficiently transmitting deadly yellow fever and dengue, a ubiquitous tropical disease, as well as Zika. A number of U.S. states, especially in the Gulf, have their own sizable populations of Aedes aegypti. Once the local mosquitoes pick up one of these viruses by biting an infected person, they can transmit them as efficiently as their tropical cousins. We know this historically from the rough parallel of dengue, carried by the same mosquito species, which has caused outbreaks in Puerto Rico (now also suffering from Zika since December 2015), Florida, Texas and Arizona.

ika Virus TestTaking this information into consideration be safe and enjoy the season. If you have more specific questions in regard to Zika please consult your community and governmental resources – local health department, CDC, and your medical provider.

Dr. Malone also states. “Testing is available (blood, urine samples) and is directed by your healthcare provider or local health department, however, testing for the virus will not change the outcome so long as the supportive treatment strategy is the same. Those with concurrent medical illness (renal disease, liver disease, immunocompromised state) should not hesitate to report possible exposure or suspected symptoms.”

If you would like to know more, Dr. Malone suggests following the guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/ 

The Emerald Coast & The Zika Virus: What You Need To Know

The Emerald Coast & The Zika Virus: What You Need To Know
Published: May 12, 2016

The Emerald coast andRecent coverage of the Zika virus can seem a bit overwhelming and confusing. My non-scientific, anecdotal experience finds that the name “Zika” itself brings back some of the same “Ebola pandemic” concerns. The Zika virus carries somewhat of an ominous connotation — “The Zika Virus has spread here, what do we do?” “Someone at work may have brought Zika virus to the office…” “The news has the Gulf Coast and Pensacola as the next Zika virus hotbed…”

As of February of 2016, PNJ reported Santa Rosa County has a confirmed case of the Zika virus, bringing the total number of travel-related health cases in Florida to nine. To date, Florida has confirmed nine travel-associated cases in the following counties: Miami-Dade, 4; Hillsborough, 2; Lee, 2; Santa Rosa, 1.

Here is a summary of some of the information which you need to know during the warm-weather months when the conditions are most opportune for the spread of said virus. Hopefully, this bullet point listing of some factoids will provide some reference on this topic.

The take home message is to enjoy this fantastic time of year here on the Gulf Coast and to be empowered with knowledge and understanding of the environment we live in.

If you would like to know more I suggest following the guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Stay Informed: The Zika Virus

  • WHAT: Zika is a virus. Not a bacteria. Not a fungus. Not a parasite. Not an insect (though it is spread by insects).
  • REGION: Latin America, Southeast United States
  • INSECT SPREAD: Mostly transmitted to humans by mosquito bites (Aedes mosquito to be more specific).
  • HUMAN TRANSMISSION: Via direct blood contact — blood transfusion, pregnant mother to fetus, sexual transmission. Note that no other bodily fluids currently are understood to harbor the virus.
  • SYMPTOM ONSET: Two to seven days following a bite from an infected mosquito.

    The Zika Virus and The Emerald Coast Panhandle Pensacola Florida
    Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • SYMPTOMS: fever, rash, eye pain and redness (conjunctivitis), muscle aches (myalgia), fatigue
  • SYMPTOM DURATION: Several days to one week.
  • PREGNANCY: Women who become infected during any trimester of pregnancy can transmit the Zika virus to their fetus, which is associated with microcephaly of the child (small head, small brain).
    The Zika Virus and The Emerald Coast Panhandle Pensacola Florida
    Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

    Prior Zika virus infection does not place future pregnancies at risk, though planning for pregnancy should take possible recent Zika virus infection into consideration.

  • COMPLICATIONS (non-pregnant individuals): As with any other viral infection, those with pre-existing chronic illness are open to a more-complicated infectious course. In no particular order, these diagnoses would place one at higher risk for complications — heart disease (congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy), chronic lung disease (COPD, emphysema, asthma), diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, immunocompromised state (cancer, chemotherapy).
  • RARE COMPLICATION: Though rare, Guillain-Barré syndrome can occur. This is marked by progressive muscular paralysis which can contribute to further cardiopulmonary dysfunction if not diagnosed or treated. It should be noted that this same process can occur from many other viral and bacterial infections so this is not a new or unique issue in regard to infectious disease.
  • TESTING FOR ZIKA VIRUS: Laboratory testing does exist, however diagnosis is often based upon possible virus exposure and clinical history (signs, symptoms). Blood (and, recently urine) tests are being used for disease monitoring. Consult your healthcare provider with regard to what testing protocol may currently be in place as these tests are evolving.
  • TREATMENT: Supportive therapy is the standard. The same as with many other viral infections (common cold, gastroenteritis). Hydration. Rest. Attention to co-morbid conditions which may need to be supported more aggressively, consult your physician.
  • VACCINATION/IMMUNIZATION: Does not exist.
  • PERSONAL PROTECTION: Avoidance of mosquito bites — window and door screens, long-sleeve clothing, insect repellents (sunscreen is first layer, then apply repellent).
  • TRAVEL: Pregnant women should avoid travel to regions with known, ongoing Zika virus transmission. Non-pregnant individuals need to understand the same information as listed above when considering travel plans.
  • PREVENTION: Limit or reduce optimal breeding grounds for mosquitoes (standing water, yard debris).

Taking this information into consideration be safe and enjoy the season. If you have more specific questions in regard to Zika please consult your community and governmental resources – local health department, CDC, and your medical provider.

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