Health officials in the United Kingdom are warning pregnant citizens not to travel to Florida due to concerns over the Zika virus. The public health officials note that all “non-essential” travel should be rescheduled in the area, encouraging families to reschedule their Disney World holidays until the virus is contained.
First cases of Zika virus transmitted by mosquitoes in the continental U.S. confirmed in Florida. https://t.co/OpXOmsHTsu
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 29, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that Public Health England is discouraging pregnant women from traveling to Florida after confirmation of the spread of the Zika virus to the state. The warning comes after the first cases of Zika not linked to travel were identified in Florida with health authorities noting the virus was contracted by a bite from an infected mosquito located within the state. With Zika-infected mosquitoes being identified in Florida, the U.K. warns that pregnant women should not travel to the area as birth defects have been reported in Zika-infected women.
“The risk in Florida is considered moderate based on the number and spread of cases and their demonstrated ability to implement effective control measures for similar diseases such as dengue – a virus transmitted by the same mosquito. Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel to affected areas until after the pregnancy.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3715716/Don-t-holiday-Florida-pregnant-Official-advice-updated-latest-Zika-outbreak.html#ixzz4FvpmgUav
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Zika has been linked to cases of microcephaly in infants born to women infected with the virus. Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than normal. Babies with microcephaly may also have smaller-than-normal brains which may not develop properly. The CDC notes that microcephaly often is the result of the brain not developing correctly during pregnancy which results in the smaller head size.
“Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.”
With spikes in microcephaly in Zike-infected areas, the CDC and World Health Organization have warned women not to travel to the area unless necessary. In fact, the CDC has issued warnings to U.S. travelers regarding Zika-prone areas encouraging women who are pregnant or hope to get pregnant to avoid the areas. This means that many vacationers have had to reconsider a trip to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) July 28, 2016
USA Today reports that the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is stressing to travelers to take necessary precautions if they must attend the games. Murthy suggests that pregnant women stay away from the games and that male partners of pregnant women should refrain from sexual contact until after the pregnancy is complete.
“They also stressed extreme caution for travelers to the Games who have pregnant partners at home and recommended that men and women with pregnant partners refrain from unprotected sexual contact for the duration of the pregnancy upon returning.”
Therefore, with the recent news that the Zika virus has spread to Florida, it should come at no surprise that countries are encouraging precautions for women hoping to travel to the area on holiday. Though travel concerns exist, the report goes on to note that the current area of concern is only about “one square mile” and is located solely in Miami-Dade County.
“At present, only a zone of about one square mile in Miami-Dade County is considered at risk of active transmission.”
Do you think Zika virus will affect Florida tourism or will people continue to travel to the state and while avoiding Miami?
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