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Zika virus

Celeste Philip: Current indicators improved, but Zika threat remains serious

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip and Gov. Rick Scott told a roundtable of Orange County public health officials in Orlando Tuesday that Zika preparedness is up and incidents and rain down this year, but the risk of another major disease outbreak remains significant and no one should abandon precautions. Florida has seen 50 confirmed case of Zika infection so far in 2017, all from overseas transmissions, and less than half of what was seen by this time in 2016. The…

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New Year’s poll: Americans hopeful for a better 2017

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Emotionally wrenching politics, foreign conflicts and shootings at home took a toll on Americans in 2016, but they are entering 2017 on an optimistic note, according to a new poll that found that a majority believes things are going to get better for the country next year. A look at the key findings of the Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll: ___ SO HOW WAS 2016? Americans weren’t thrilled with the year. Only 18 percent said things for the country got…

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Zika funding ‘all about pregnant women,’ Rick Scott says

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Sounding like a candidate for higher office, Florida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday rapped Congress for dithering before finally OK’ing $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus. “We repeatedly called for months to get something done,” the Naples Republican said on a conference call. “This is all about pregnant women and making sure they have healthy babies.” The Zika virus can cause severe brain-related birth defects, including disastrously small heads. “I was up in D.C., walking the halls, went up there twice, calling on members…

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Patrick Murphy endorsed by Planned Parenthood for U.S. Senate

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Planned Parenthood now backs Patrick Murphy in Florida’s race for U.S. senator. Their endorsement only boosted Murphy’s resolve on fighting for women’s right to choose and health care — two things he said his opponent, Marco Rubio, is against. “This is an organization that provides vital health care to millions of women across this country,” he said. “While Marco Rubio opposes a woman’s right to choose, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and has exploited the Zika virus to attack women’s health, I will…

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Joe Henderson: Cutting through the maze of political blame over Zika

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There was an interesting news release Monday on the Florida Department of Health website. The agency issued a lengthy rebuttal to a Miami Herald report last month that its data on the state’s Zika problem was wrong, late or both. “This story is misleading and the claims made in it are inaccurate,” the agency said. It added, “The Department is absolutely committed to transparency as our state continues to combat the Zika virus. … On a daily basis, our staff…

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Guns, immigration and Zika top agenda as Congress returns

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Gun control, immigration and money to combat the Zika virus top the congressional agenda as lawmakers sprint toward the political conventions this month and a seven-week summer recess. Amid all that, Republicans plan to squeeze in a meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday. The House and Senate have just eight legislative days before their break, and lawmakers have scheduled a handful of politically charged votes with implications for incumbents in November’s election. In the House, legislation to fight terrorism and…

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Florida records birth of first baby with Zika-related birth defects

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The first case of microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development, has surfaced in Florida. The defect is caused by the Zika virus, which was contracted by the mother while in her native Haiti, authorities said. Officials with the Florida Department of Health confirmed the case Tuesday morning. The newborn’s mother came to Florida to deliver her baby, officials said. The department is working with the family to get the…

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