Zika cases prompt warning against Miami travel

Published on : Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Zika virusFederal health officials have advised pregnant women to avoid travelling to the northern part of Miami following over 10 Zika cases wherein local mosquitoes have infected people.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have asked women who have been to the Wynwood region in Miami since 15th June, not to get pregnant at least for eight weeks. This is because Zika is known to cause severe birth defects and has started spreading in mosquitoes around 15th June.


The CDC officials feel that this is the very first time that the federal health officials have warned people to avoid a particular place in continental US, said Tom Skinner, a spokesperson of CDC.


On the request of Florida, the CDC has agreed to send an emergency response team to the place to curb the outbreak of the Zika virus. Two of the staff members of CDC are already working in Florida, while six others are planning to join them.


These two new Zika cases brings the number of Zika outbreaks to 14.


Tom Freiden, director, CDC, said that it is proving to be a challenging task to control the Zika cases. He also added that additional diagnosis needs to be made that are closely related to the neighborhood.


Freiden said that the people of Florida lack ideal solutions to curb mosquitoes that spread Zika. He also said that the conventional measures of controlling mosquitos also do not seem to be working out successfully here.


He then said that pregnant women should try their best to avoid mosquito bites. The Aedes aegypti mosquito species is responsible for the spread of Zika and lives in as many as 30 states including US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.


The CDC has stated that 1,658 people in Hawaii and continental US have been diagnosed with Zika and about 20% of the Zika cases are from Florida.


A majority of Zika cases in Miami are a result of people who have travelled abroad or had sex with travellers. Currently, the Zika virus is restricted to 1 square mile from the northern part of downtown Miami, according to Rick Scott, Governor of Miami. The six of the 10 people who were affected did now show any symptoms.


The mosquito control staff based in Miami have utilized pyrethroid insecticides but they do not seem to be working, said Freiden.


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