Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell Friday declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico in response to the Zika outbreak. “This emergency declaration allows us to provide additional support to the Puerto Rican government and reminds us of the importance of pregnant women, women of childbearing age and their partners taking additional steps to protect themselves and their families from Zika,” she said. Specifically, the declaration allows the territory to apply for Department of Labor funds to hire and train workers to help with vector control, and request the temporary reassignment of certain public health personnel to the Zika response. As of Friday, the Puerto Rico Department of Health has reported 10,690 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika, including 1,035 pregnant women. With the exception of six locally acquired cases in the Miami area, all Zika cases in the continental U.S. have been travel-related. For more information, visit and