The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, warns pregnant women not to travel to North Miami, Florida due to a fear of exposure to the Zika virus. The warning was released on Monday, including recommendations that pregnant women living in the area, or women that intend to get pregnant, should use mosquito repellent and wear clothing that will prevent them from being bitten.
The release is the first time that the CDC has warned Americans not to travel within the United States.
The CDC warning comes after more Zika infections were found in the neighborhood that is located just north of downtown Miami. There have been 14 confirmed Zika virus infections in the immediate North Miami area, according to Time. As a result, there is concern that there could be unconfirmed cases as well.
The warning extends to pregnant women that live outside of the United States, but it was specifically directed to pregnant American women due to the ease of access for tourists and local residents.
— CDC (@CDCgov) August 1, 2016
In response to the Zika virus health threat, the CDC has dispatched teams to the area to investigate the outbreak. In addition, the teams are spraying the area in hopes to control the mosquito population and kill the larvae before they become a threat. However, despite their best efforts, the larvae numbers are much higher than normal. At this time, they do not know the cause of the increased numbers.
Tom Frieden director of the CDC, stated that there is concern regarding the mosquito population. He stated that the normal methods of dealing with the mosquitoes do not seem to be working as expected, according to USA Today.
“We don’t have ideal ways to control the mosquitoes that control Zika. In Miami, aggressive mosquito control measures don’t seem to be working as well as we would have liked.”
Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus, has been found in 30 states. However, it seems to be fairly prevalent in the North Miami area. The large number of mosquitoes is a concern. However, the lack of symptoms in infected individuals is more concerning. Of the first 10 individuals found infected with the Zika virus in the neighborhood, only 4 showed symptoms. The others were discovered during a door-to-door community outreach initiative.
Currently, the Zika virus contamination area is thought to be limited to one square mile. However, it is expected that there may be more people outside of the area that are infected, but may not be showing signs of infection.
Symptoms of the Zika Virus include a rash, fever, joint pain, pink eye, and more.
Florida identifies 10 additional Zika cases in Miami area https://t.co/6hAHDMxecz
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 1, 2016
Frieden’s concern goes beyond the known cases and extends to those that may not know they are infected with the Zika virus. In addition, he warns that there are many mysteries surrounding the Zika virus.
“What we know about Zika is scary. What we don’t know about Zika is even more unsettling.”
Governor Rick Scott spoke out to pregnant women that plan to travel to the area, as well as pregnant women in the area, warning them to obtain a Zika prevention kit from their OB/GYN.
“While we continue to learn more about this virus each day, we know that it is most harmful to pregnant women and their babies. For women who live or work in the impacted area and are either pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit.”
It is unknown when the Zika virus threat will diminish or when it will be safe to travel in North Miami again.
[Image via Parinyabinsuk/Shutterstock]