CDC Issues Unprecedented Travel Warning Over Zika Virus in Miami

Posted on August 2, 2016

Aedes aegypti

The CDC has issued an unprecedented travel warning. CNN reports that the travel advisory warns pregnant women and their partners to avoid a small area just north of Miami. This area is where mosquitoes have been found to be carrying the Zika virus. CNN says this is the first warning issued by the CDC advising people to avoid a U.S. neighborhood to avoid a disease.

Ten people have contracted Zika virus in the area. These are the first known cases of Zika virus in the U.S. The virus is being carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito has a range over many southern states as well as states up along the east coast. The virus is expected to spread in the U.S., primarily in the southeastern states.

Dr. Tom Frieden says in a statement, "With 40 million travelers to and from areas where Zika is actively circulating, many can come back who feel perfectly fine. But the virus could be hitchhiking in their blood. That's why everyone who travels to one of those areas should use insect repellent for at least three weeks after they return."

Zika virus is a big concern for pregnant women because it is linked to severe birth defects that include microcephaly. The CDC has established an information site about the disease here.

Photo: James Gathany/CDC