Florida Leads Nation in Zika Virus Outbreak
Unfortunately, officials are now reporting that Florida is currently leading the nation in numbers affected by the Zika virus, which has proven to be far more challenging to control than even other diseases such as Dengue fever. The administration’s announcement that the virus can be spread through sexual contact and not just mosquitoes not only makes it more difficult to combat, but also carries with it other implications typically associated with diseases that can be spread by people acting negligently.
As more and more is learned about Zika in general, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appear to become more and more frightened about the virus in general. As of now, there are close to 350 confirmed cases, all associated with people traveling into the United States. Nearly one out of four cases have been confirmed in Florida, spread out among 15 counties.
The Zika virus has been most notably connected with a broad array of birth defects throughout pregnancy, including blindness, smaller brain size (microcephaly), and premature birth. Researchers still do not know if any particular vaccines or drugs will be effective to prevent or treat symptoms of the virus, the most common symptoms (if you are not pregnant) being joint pain, conjunctivitis, a fever, and rashes. Many people do not realize that they have been infected, making the issue even more challenging as researchers have discovered that it is not simply spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, but also through sexual contact.
Alternative Origin Theories
Some have claimed that certain symptoms such as microcephaly might actually be linked to a specific chemical larvicide that was introduced into Brazil’s water supply. The chemical was used to try and control the mosquito population, and some physicians claim that it is not a coincidence that these symptoms were associated with areas treated by this chemical.
If you know that you have been infected by the Zika virus, you should avoid engaging in behavior with someone else that could lead to transmission, and this behavior now includes sexual contact. If you knowingly choose to engage in this contact without informing your partner that you have the Zika virus, you could be sued for personal injury claims. Similar concerns apply to healthcare professionals; they must take the utmost care in ensuring that if they work in a hospital where people are infected with Zika, it is not spread to other patients who have not yet been infected, or they could face a lawsuit due to their negligence.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you have been injured by being exposed to a disease, either due to an individual or company’s negligence, contact Clearwater personal injury attorney Mike Walker and let him help you. He deals with all forms of personal injury, and serves clients in Clearwater and surrounding areas of Florida.