For the latest information and updates regarding Zika Virus, please follow the Department of Health Zika Virus Update on the Florida Department of Health’s website.
Notice of Emergency Rule
NOTICE OF EMERGENCY RULE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Division of Disease Control
RULE NO.: RULE TITLE:
64DER16-1 Diseases or Conditions to be Reported
64DER16-2 Procedures for Control of Specific Communicable Diseases
SPECIFIC REASONS FOR FINDING AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO THE PUBLIC, HEALTH, SAFETY OR WELFARE: Zika fever, a dengue-like illness caused by a mosquito-borne flavivirus, has been identified in several countries in Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean including Puerto Rico. Outbreaks have previously been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The World Health Organization has reported an increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in areas experiencing Zika virus outbreaks. The World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern related to the Zika virus on February 1, 2016. At this time, there have been twelve (12) confirmed travel-related cases of the Zika virus (none of which have been pregnant women) in the state of Florida. On February 3, 2016, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 16-29 directing the Surgeon General to declare a Public Health Emergency related to the spread of the Zika virus in Florida. A Public Health Emergency has been declared by the Surgeon General in five (5) counties in accordance with the Executive Order. The Surgeon General’s Declaration of a Public Health Emergency has been transmitted to the Commissioner of Agriculture for issuance of a mosquito declaration, as needed pursuant to section 388.45, Florida Statutes. There is an immediate need to adopt rules setting forth the procedures to control the spread of the Zika virus to protect the health, safety and welfare of Florida’s citizens and those persons traveling within Florida.
REASONS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE PROCEDURE USED IS FAIR UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES: The Zika virus presents a public health threat to the state of Florida. The Surgeon General has declared a Public Health Emergency in five (5) counties due to the spread of the Zika virus. There is an immediate need to set forth procedures for the control of this communicable disease in the State of Florida.
SUMMARY OF THE RULE: Emergency rule 64DER16-1 (64D-3.029) requires immediate reporting of suspected or confirmed cases of the Zika virus by physicians, hospitals, and laboratories. Emergency rule 64DER16-2 (64D-3.040) requires status reports related to suspected or confirmed cases of the Zika virus to be provided to the State Epidemiologist.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE EMERGENCY RULE IS: Dr. Anna Likos, Florida Department of Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1703, (850) 245-4444.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE EMERGENCY RULE IS:
64DER16-2 (64D-3.040) Procedures for Control of Specific Communicable Diseases.
(9) Zika Virus. Practitioners, hospitals, and laboratories shall report any suspected or confirmed cases of the Zika virus immediately, as required in Rule 64DER16-1. Hospitals with suspected or confirmed cases of the Zika virus shall provide case status reports every twenty-four (24) hours to the Department’s State Epidemiologist. Physicians with suspected or confirmed cases of the Zika virus shall provide case status reports every seventy-two (72) hours to the Department’s State Epidemiologist.
THIS RULE TAKES EFFECT UPON BEING FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE UNLESS A LATER TIME AND DATE IS SPECIFIED IN THE RULE.
Florida has been monitoring pregnant women with evidence of Zika regardless of symptoms since January. For more information on the Zika virus, click here.