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Zika Virus

EMTs and paramedics must protect themselves with PPE, investigate symptoms and report findings to the hospital to identify potential infectious disease outbreaks
Zika virus has been looming all winter, but local governments can get ahead of the problem as mosquito abatement season begins
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) must be prepared to appropriately and cautiously handle these calls
Issues to be addressed include isolation and quarantine, disease surveillance and contact tracing
Nearly 90 percent of people with a rare paralyzing condition said they had symptoms of Zika earlier
Employers and EMS providers must use Standard Precautions to protect against transmission of Zika virus and other infectious diseases
So far, there have been no Zika infections in the U.S.; more than 300 illnesses have been reported, all linked to travel to Zika outbreak regions
The fetus had an abnormally small brain that lacked neural folds
The money would be used to expand mosquito control programs and speed development of a vaccine, among other things
Florida’s climate makes it vulnerable to the virus, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito
Experts still stress that mosquitoes are the main culprit in the Zika epidemic menacing Latin America and looming over the United States
It is the first case of the illness being transmitted within the United States
The World Health Organization estimates there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in the Americas in the next year
EMS organizations and personnel should use this as an opportunity to review infection control and ambulance disinfection procedures