Alabama health agency confirms first Zika case in state, Cold Weather and the homeless

Feb 10, 2016

The first case of the Zika virus in Alabama has been reported. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more on how this case fits into to the overall outbreak…

The Alabama Department of Public Health says a travel related case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Morgan County in north Alabama.

Health officials have been testing Alabama residents who have travelled to areas involved in the current Zika outbreak. Along with the one positive test result, one patient has tested negative and three more subjects are pending.

Health officials say they’re not surprised that the virus has appeared in our state, and more positive results are expected.

The main concern over Zika is its possible link to birth defects. Pregnant women, women of child bearing age are being urged not to travel to countries were Zika is present.

Health officials suggest that men with pregnant partners who travel to areas affected by Zika to use condoms or abstain from sex.

 

An Alabama woman serving life without parole in her granddaughter's running death is on life support after a possible heart attack.

Dani Bone is a lawyer who represented Joyce Hardin Garrard during her trial last year. Bone said Wednesday that the 50-year-old woman was stricken at Tutwiler prison on Sunday.

Garrard has a history of cardiac problems. Bone says the chances of her recovering are poor.

Spokesman Bob Horton says she was treated at the prison and then taken by helicopter ambulance to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery.

Garrard was convicted of killing 9-year-old Savannah Hardin by making her run as punishment for a lie about candy four years ago.

The temperatures are expected plunge down to the twenties in parts of Alabama tonight.

Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Etowah County are among the communities opening their doors to their homeless. Birmingham and Etowah have homeless shelters open. Tuscaloosa residents can call the police or fire departments for directions to a warm spot to stay.

Courtney Stinson is the Community Outreach Coordinator for One Roof. She says all citizens can be helpful in addressing homelessness as a larger issue in Alabama.

“Listeners can see what’s going on in their communities to end homelessness. They can get in contact with their local representatives, their local government, to push the need for affordable housing. And just kind of get aware of what homelessness looks like in your community.”

Forecasters say conditions should start to warm up next week.