The Zika virus has been on the minds of athletes, Olympic officials and women over the last few months with researchers still baffled about how to take care of it. The mosquito-borne virus has popped up in Florida recently, and that situation has escalated as health officials are urging travelers not to visit a small community north of Miami because of Zika concerns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now issue a travel warning — geared mainly towards pregnant women and their companions — not to travel to a northern Miami neighborhood. This is the first time the CDC has issued a travel warning for Americans to stay away from a specific location because of Zika concerns.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden announced in a statement how 10 additional people in Florida were discovered to be infected with the virus, which now brings the total to 14. Frieden went on to say they conducted door-to-door surveys of almost 200 people for blood and urine tests to discover if they were carrying the virus. He said visitors may feel fine after leaving these areas, but may have the virus in their blood:
“New test measurements over the weekend showed a risk of continued active transmission in that area. 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.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott held his own press conference where he told residents he has asked the CDC for help, and they are taking preemptive measures to solve the situation:
“Following today’s announcement, I have requested that the Centers for Disease Control activate their emergency response team to assist (the Department of Health) in their investigation, research and sample collection efforts. Their team will consist of public health experts whose role is to augment our response efforts to confirmed local transmissions of the Zika virus.”
Frieden said the control measures the CDC has taken in Miami haven’t been as great as they hoped, since the mosquitoes could be immune to some pesticides and could stay in hidden breeding grounds. This is a little discomforting to hear and sounds like the setup to a bad SyFy channel movie.