The CDC has reported 15 confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in Miami, Florida, and has issued a travel advisory for pregnant women and their partners planning to visit the popular city in the near future. The affected area is just north of Downtown, Miami. Known as one of the most popular tourist destinations, Miami averages around 12million visitors a year. A health scare like the Zika virus may put a halt to the fleet of tourists that usually spend summer-ending vacations in Miami.
Local officials believe the Zika virus was most likely spread when a mosquito bit an infected person who had just returned to the United States.
The CDC recommends that:
- Pregnant women who live in or travel to the area should be tested for Zika infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, even if they have no symptoms of the virus.
- Pregnant women and their male and female partners who live in the area should prevent mosquito bites and use proper sexual protection for the length of the pregnancy, or abstain from sex altogether.
- Male or female partners of pregnant women who have traveled to this area should use safe sex measures for the rest of the pregnancy.
- Women and men who have traveled to the affected area should wait eight weeks to conceive after their return, while men with symptoms should wait a full six months.
U.S. health officials urge citizens that although they do not expect the virus to have a widespread effect, that they should take some preliminary precautions when traveling to and around the infected area. Precautions such as wearing long sleeved shirts and pants that are long and thick that can prevent a mosquito bite, using insect repellent that contains 25% DEET to mask uncovered skin, insuring screens on windows and doors are secure, and removing standing water that mosquitoes could breed in.