According to USA Today, the state of Florida confirmed 10 additional cases of Zika affecting individuals who were stung by local mosquitoes. The increase in confirmed Zika cases has resulted in the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to issue an unprecedented travel warning urging pregnant women and their partners not to travel to a small community located just north of downtown Miami where the Zika virus is believed to be circulating. CNN reports that this is the first time the CDC has ever issued a warning urging people not to travel somewhere in the United States for fear of catching an infectious disease.
The CDC travel warning to this neighborhood in the state of Florida was issued after 10 more cases of the Zika virus were confirmed. According to CNN, this brought the total of confirmed Florida Zika virus cases to 14.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden announced details regarding the Zika virus cases in two separate news conferences on Monday. These 10 new Florida Zika cases were discovered by going door-to-door and surveying 200 people at their homes and place of business. The people were identified with blood and urine samples that tested positive for having the virus.
It was just last week that the state of Florida was able to confirm four individuals had contracted the Zika virus after being bit by mosquitoes in the same 150-square-meter community. CNN reports the area where the virus is believed to be active is a blend of housing developments and businesses that are a combination of upscale and economically stressed. The CDC director claims efforts are being made to control the local mosquitoes, but it is a complicated process.
“New test measurements over the weekend showed a risk of continued active transmission in that area. Because of this finding, we are advising pregnant women not to travel to that area and if they have traveled there on or after June 15 to visit their health care provider for testing.”
The Washington Post reports the Zika virus can have devastating consequences for a fetus. Pregnant women who currently live in or near this neighborhood in the state of Florida are urged to do everything they can to prevent mosquito bites. They are also urged to get tested for the Zika virus during every prenatal appointment. Women are also being advised to use protection during sex as it is possible to transmit this disease sexually.
The CDC also wants medical providers to start asking pregnant women if they have traveled to any areas known to be infested with the Zika virus during all routine prenatal visits. Any women who have traveled to Zika infested areas – such as the state of Florida on or after June 15 of this year – are being urged to get tested by their health care providers for the Zika virus.
For couples who live in this area and are driving to have a baby, the CDC urges them to wait at least eight weeks to conceive a baby. The same is true for couples who have recently traveled to the area. Men who have symptoms of the virus or test positive for the virus should wait at least six months to attempt to conceive a baby.
The CDC director made the decision to issue the travel warning after so many Zika cases were confirmed in the state of Florida within a 48-hour time frame. With the new information, the CDC fears the efforts to control the local mosquitos infected with the Zika virus in the state of Florida are not going as well as they would have hoped.
The CDC director claims it is possible the mosquitos in Florida have developed some sort of resistance to the insecticides the state has been using in an attempt to control the situation. Whatever the cause is, the CDC and the state of Florida are having trouble controlling the situation. The CDC director also believes the chances of more infections are highly likely as four out of every five people with the virus do not show any symptoms.
While the CDC did previously issue a warning for Puerto Rico in January, this is the first time the CDC has issued a warning inside of the United States.
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