Friday, August 26, 2016

ZIKA We should know where it is

Withholding information on where the ZIKA infection is in Pinellas County is not good public Policy.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

I am not sure why the state, and the County are keeping the location of the Pinellas County ZIKA case a secret.

It seems to me that everyone in, around and near the area would want to take extra steps to make sure they are protected especially those women who are pregnant or think they might be.

The Kriseman administration is taking some preliminary action as Mayor Rick Kriseman on Tuesday designated Dean Adamides, the division chief of emergency management in the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Department, to oversee the city’s response to the Zika threat.

More detail from saintpetersblog Anne Lindberg:  Education, collaboration are key tactics in Pinellas’ war on Zika.

Dr. Ulyee Choe, the Pinellas Health Department director indicated that one case does not make an epidemic. It does not even make “active transmission. That would take at least two to three cases of non-travel-related Zika.”

That may well be the case, but I think the sooner you get started with a problem like this the easier it is to solve.

Christopher O’Donnell Tampa Bay Times sheds some light on the issue: Scott meets with Hillsborough leaders as state investigates Pinellas Zika case. “Despite calls from U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Belleair Bluffs, for residents to get more information, Philip said the department won't reveal where the woman lives unless it is classified as an active transmission zone. That would require the presence of additional related infections.”

So we have the potential of a serious virus, but we want a few more people to be infected before we tell you where to be careful.

Is it just me or does the sound more than a little stupid?

If the objective here is not to start a media panic and affect tourism; here is a news flash – too late!

The fact we have not identified the general area is probably already causing people to change their travel plans since they have no idea of where the virus is centered, and they certainly can’t rely on public officials to keep them informed.

This to me seems like public health gone way off the rails. The objective of public health is to protect the public’s health and the best way to protect the public is to keep them informed.

Keeping the public in the dark serves no really useful purpose and delays potential individual action, which might prevent further infections.

Pinellas county, dotted with little ponds, lakes and those really dumb retention ponds, is a mosquito haven. Let’s not wait. Will we have emergency rooms full of ZIKA patients before we give people the information, they need to protect themselves.

The public health people need to start worrying more about the actual effects of ZIKA in Pinellas and Hillsborough and less about fallout from people knowing it’s here.

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