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By Gary Evans, AHC Media Senior Staff Writer
The Wynwood neighborhood where Zika is spreading in Miami has popular shops and restaurants that were drawing large crowds as recently as last Friday, when the first four cases of mosquito transmission were confirmed.
That does not bode well for containing the virus, but public health officials added only one additional case to bring the total of vector-borne local infections to 15 as of Aug. 3.
“It’s a very popular [area] with young people,” says Barbara Russell, RN, MPH, CIC, director of infection control at Baptist Hospital of Miami. “There are a lot of nice restaurants and some people live there, and some people do work there obviously. That’s where the concentration is right now. What has come out of our health department is that that anyone who is pregnant who lives there, works there or has been there recently should seek attention form their obstetrician or doctor and get tested.”
Incoming patients at Baptist Hospital are being asked if they have been to the local area or any of the international destinations where Zika is spreading, she tells Hospital Infection Control & Prevention. Standard precautions are sufficient to prevent transmission to other patients, but the primary message is regarding safe sex and avoiding attempts at conception until tested for Zika.
“I was talking to one of ID doctors this morning and she said just Friday night her and her husband went out to dinner [in Wynwood] and the restaurant was packed," Russell says. "It’s still very busy when they show the area on TV. It’s on the news as the epicenter but either people are not seeing it, or not thinking about it or they are thinking, ‘I’m not pregnant so I will go.'"