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By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer
Finding persistent mosquito populations in a square-mile area of Miami where 14 people have acquired Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control today issued a travel advisory today warning pregnant women to avoid the area of transmission.
At Florida’s request, the CDC is also sending an Emergency Response Team with experts in Zika virus, pregnancy and birth defects, vector control, laboratory science, and risk communications to assist in the response. Two CDC team members are already on the ground in Florida, three more will arrive today, and three more on Tuesday, August 2.
The CDC recommendations include the following:
•Pregnant women not travel to the identified area.
•Pregnant women and their partners living in this area should consistently follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
•Pregnant women who traveled to this area on or after June 15, 2016, should talk with their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika.
•Pregnant women without symptoms of Zika who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested for Zika virus infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
•Male and female sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to this area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
•Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area who do not have signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease and are considering pregnancy should consider the risks associated with Zika virus infection, and may wish to consult their healthcare provider.
•Women and men who traveled to this area wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with symptoms of Zika wait at least 6 months before trying for a pregnancy.
The 14 probable or confirmed cases of Zika virus infections were transmitted by mosquitoes in an area of about one square mile in just north of downtown Miami, Florida health officials reported today. On Friday, July 29, the state health department confirmed the first four people infected by local mosquitoes in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Those represented the first cases of vector-borne Zika in the U.S.
Results of ongoing testing of some 200 people who live or work near the index cases identified the additional cases, some of which are asymptomatic or classified as probable. The department is is testing close contacts and community members within a 150 meter radius to account for the maximum range of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread Zika.
"At this time, the department still believes active transmissions of the Zika virus are occurring in one small area in Miami-Dade County, just north of downtown,” Florida health officials stated. “[P]regnant women are advised to avoid non-essential travel to the impacted area in Miami-Dade County. If you are pregnant and must travel or if you live or work in the impacted area, protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent, long clothing and limiting your time outdoors.”