The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a historic travel warning, regarding a small area in north Miami, due to the Zika virus. The warning has strongly recommended that pregnant females and partners not travel to the area, due to reported cases of the virus surfacing; this is the first time the organization has issued such a travel warning, as it relates to an infectious disease and travel to the U.S.
Last week, another 11 individuals in the state of Florida reported being infected with Zika, due to local mosquito bites. The total cases have now increased to 15.
CNN reported that health officials in the state recently established that four people had gotten the virus from mosquitoes within an area, about 150 square meters in size. The community dealing with this is a unique one, with economically stressed homes and businesses, as well as upper scale residents. According to Tom Frieden, director of CDC, this complicates the efforts around mosquito control. Frieden notes that new test measures recently, have revealed a risk of active and continued Zika transmission in the region. As such, the travel warning for pregnant females was issued, to refrain from travel in that area. If they had traveled there on or after June 15th, the CDC is advising that they visit their doctor, for testing.
Why has the date of June 15th been set? Well, Frieden notes that that is the earliest day that Florida health official think that these mosquitoes could have passed on Zika; which seems to have been obtained by biting an individual with the diseases, who had returned to the U.S. As a majority of people with Zika do not notice symptoms right away, therefore, it is very possible that said person had no idea they had the contagious infection to begin with.
Additional CDC recommendations regarding this Miami outbreak include:
Zika testing for those pregnant females who have traveled to the area, or live in the area, and are in their first or second trimesters; regardless of whether Zika symptoms are popping up, or not.
Pregnant females and their partners living in their area should try and prevent mosquito bites, as well as use protection while in engaging in sexual relations for the rest of the pregnancy, or consider abstinence.
Couples (male and females) should wait about eight weeks after travelling to this area, before trying to conceive. Males with Zika symptoms should refrain from this for six months.
CDC staff are currently in Florida, and their first task at hand is to figure out why the local efforts around mosquito control, have failed.