Visit Tampa Bay statement on Zika virus in Florida

January 13, 2016 by PR@VisitTampaBay.com

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No local transmissions; Region has active mosquito control program

TAMPA (Feb. 22, 2016) – In light of concerns about the recent Zika virus outbreak, and subsequent emergency declaration by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, let me take a moment to review with you the most current information regarding the Tampa Bay area, according to the Florida Department of Health:

1. There has been no local transmission of Zika virus in Tampa Bay. The three people in Hillsborough County (population of 1.3 million) who have been confirmed with the virus, having contracted it while visiting locations in the Caribbean and South America. They did not contract it in the Tampa Bay region. There have been no locally transmitted Zika cases in all of Florida.

2. The Tampa Bay area has a very active mosquito control program. Hillsborough County operates mosquito-abatement programs that call for spraying, treating standing water and trapping adult mosquitoes. Crews stay on alert all year for mosquito-borne illnesses and work diligently to limit mosquito populations.

3. Mosquito repellent is a good first line of defense. If you know you will be in an area with mosquitoes, repellents with DEET, Picaridin or eucalyptus oil will help you avoid bites. So will wearing long sleeves or clothes treated with the repellent permethrin.

4. Be alert for standing water. Flower pots, bird baths and puddles all make breeding grounds for mosquitoes. We encourage visitors to the Tampa Bay area to let their hosts know if they feel there might be a problem with standing water that needs correcting.

The safety of visitors to the Tampa Bay area is of paramount importance. Visit Tampa Bay receives daily updates from the Florida Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding Zika cases in Florida and will pass pertinent information along to travelers as needed via our blog (www.visittampabay.com/blog) and social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter.