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Pinellas County

Health department gives a hepatitis A shot to a person in Gulfport.
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida is dealing with the state's worst hepatitis A outbreak in years and the Tampa Bay area has been hit the hardest. Health officials in Pinellas County are using a new method to combat the virus, which attacks the liver. 

Another 53 Hepatitis A Cases Reported in Florida

Jul 30, 2019

Florida had 53 new hepatitis A cases reported last week, bringing the total number of cases since January to 2,034, according to the state Department of Health. 

Blue green algae floats in the lower St. Johns River in May 2010.
Courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Pinellas County officials are urging residents and visitors to stay away from some blue-green algae blooms that have popped up in the last week.

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is here, and the Pinellas County Mosquito Control center wants people to be aware of the dangers the bugs can pose to their health.
Wikimedia Commons

They’re quick, they’re noisy, and they’re out to suck your blood this summer.

As the weather heats up and Florida grows increasingly muggy, mosquitos are coming out in swarms.

Leaders from across the Tampa Bay area gathered at the Glazer Family Jewish Community Center in Tampa to announce a new mental health coalition..
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

In the Tampa Bay area, one in six people suffers from depression.

One in twelve has a substance abuse disorder.

And there is only one mental health professional for every 700 people in Florida.

William Kemerer, Pat Gerard, and Josie Rocco accept checks on behalf of Brooksville, University Area in Tampa, and Pinellas County.
Adam Bakst / WUSF Public Media

Three Tampa Bay area communities will be able to make improvements thanks to their share of almost a million dollars in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Lealman community in Pinellas County, the University Area in Tampa, and the city of Brooksville will each receive $300,000 to clean up contaminated properties and develop community projects.

Updated Pinellas County flood zone map.
Pinellas County

Pinellas County residents may find themselves living in a flood zone after a recent update to coastal flood maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These new changes can mean higher or lower flood insurance premiums for some people.

The gate of Brooker Creek Preserve is closed with two cones in front of it and a sign that states center closed until further notice.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Residents in the Tampa Bay area are dealing with lingering smoke after a brush fire at Brooker Creek Preserve this week.

East Lake Fire Rescue, Oldsmar Fire and the Department of Forestry helped fight the fire at the preserve in north Pinellas County. Florida Forest Service officials said the fire burned 15 acres.

Hillsborough County evacuation zones.
Hillsboroughcounty.org

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Emergency management officials say it's important residents know which evacuation zone they live in. Florida residents should have an evacuation plan in place before a storm is on the radar. 

  

When counties mandate evacuations, they will do it by zones A-E. The zones are set based on a home’s vulnerability to deadly storm surge, with Zone A being most vulnerable. Evacuation zones are not the same as FEMA flood zone designations.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Continues To Expand

May 14, 2019

Florida reported 92 hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total to 1,129 cases this year as an outbreak continues to grow, according to numbers posted Monday on the state Department of Health website. 

Hepatitis A Cases Soar Past 1,000

May 8, 2019

Florida has had a reported 1,037 cases of the liver disease hepatitis A this year, nearly double the amount reported for all of 2018, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website. 

Hepatitis A outbreak data map
Florida Department of Health

Florida is seeing a surge in hepatitis A infections and a majority of the cases are turning up in the Tampa Bay area.

Pinellas County bus passengers will get to keep all of their routes -- for now. Members of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority's board decided last week to hold off on proposed route cuts.

Updated FEMA flood maps indicate risk zones in Pinellas County.
Pinellas County Government

Flooding is one of the most common and costly disasters during storms. Pinellas County is the latest area to have adjustments made to its flood map to better reflect the risk that some homeowners may face.

McMullen Booth Road is facing detours near State Road 590 as part of the railroad improvement program.
Transportation Division of Pinellas County Public Works

Every day, thousands of motorists drive McMullen Booth Road, one of the major north-south roadways in Pinellas County.

Starting Friday, they will be facing detours near State Road 590 in Clearwater as county workers improve a railroad line there.

Tampa Police

Hurricane season may be about three months away, but the city of Tampa already has a plan to help residents after a storm.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

While the fish kills have stopped washing up on Pinellas County beaches, red tide is still an ongoing problem in the area. The Board of Commissioners voted recently on an agreement with the state that would give the county an additional three million dollars for red tide cleanup.

Just days before Election Day, the Florida electorate is as divided as ever, with polls showing tight races for Florida governor and the U.S. Senate.

Tourists at Clearwater Beach.
WUSF Public Media

Pinellas County, a popular travel destination in Florida, will be receiving more tax dollars from tourists as the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office partners with various travel agencies.

Pinellas County Government

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating its flood zone maps in the Tampa Bay area and the changes could affect thousands of home and business owners.

Tarpon Springs Police Department

The Tarpon Springs Police Department will be cracking down on traffic violations, specifically those endangering pedestrians. Starting Friday, there will be an increased police presence in the city, all due to a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

It was a rough week for Florida's beaches, with a resurgence of red tide on the Gulf Coast and returning feces-related problems in South Florida.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

Red tide arrived in Pinellas County over the weekend with numerous reports of dead fish along beaches from Fort DeSoto to Clearwater. 

It appears that a noxious red tide algal bloom has reached one of Florida's main metropolitan areas. 

Florida Department of Health Pinellas County

Pinellas County is in the middle of their first measles outbreak in 20 years, and the number of cases keeps building. Since August 13, there have been seven reported cases in the county, and as of Wednesday, there are nine in the state.

Judge Nixes Bail Reduction For Parking Lot Shooting Suspect

Aug 24, 2018
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A Florida judge has decided not to reduce the bail of a white man charged with manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man in a store parking lot.

Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in Pinellas County, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

Wikimedia Commons.

Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County spokeswoman Maggie Hall said they've confirmed a case of the measles in a child who was not vaccinated against the virus. And it was contracted locally.

Florida health officials are investigating a case of measles from a child they say was not vaccinated.

Courtesy of Its Time Tampa Bay

Transportation planners in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties have launched a survey for residents to choose which sort of traffic-alleviating options they want most.

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