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Zika virus travel warning for Miami area

Miami, FL – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel warning August 1, advising pregnant women and their partners to avoid travel to a community outside Miami’s city center.

The unprecedented travel warning to an American neighborhood is the first by CDC. Miami Governor, Rick Scott, said that so far, the outbreak has been limited to a 1-square mile area north of downtown Miami.

CDC spokesperson, Tom Skinner, says that a total of 14 people in the outskirts of Miami were found to have been infected with the virus. Director of CDC, Tom Frieden, says that controlling the Zika cases has proven difficult, noting that more diagnoses related to the area are possible.

“We don’t have ideal ways to control the mosquitoes that control Zika,” Frieden said. “In Miami, aggressive mosquito control measures don’t seem to be working as well as we would have liked.

“The Aedes aegypti is a really tough mosquito to control,” he added. “When Key West had an outbreak of dengue, which is carried by the same mosquito, that outbreak continued for more than a year. It’s a demonstration of how intensive the efforts need to be to control the mosquito.”

So far, CDC has recorded 1,658 people in the US and Hawaii with Zika. They report that nearly 20 percent of those cases were diagnosed in Florida. Frieden admits that the true number of Zika virus cases is likely “many times” higher than the CDC total, explaining that four out of five people with Zika do not exhibit symptoms.

Frieden adds that, “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.”

Nearly every state is reporting cases of the virus except for Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska.

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