MIAMI, Florida – The Zika virus is spreading so rapidly in one Miami neighborhood that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women not to travel to the area.
Zika, spread by mosquitoes, can cause serious birth defects in babies and also lead, in adults, to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which can cause paralysis and even death.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said Monday that an additional 10 people in the area had caught it, bringing the total number to 14. Twelve of them are men. It was just last week that the CDC confirmed the first case in America that was caught in the U.S. – that is, not transmitted in another country.
The Florida Department of Health is conducting door-to-door interviews in the community – called Wynwood – and “gathering samples for testing to determine the number of people affected.”
The CDC released a statement Monday urging pregnant women not to travel to the area. The CDC also said:
- “Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to this area should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.”
- “Women and men who live in or traveled to this area and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.”
- “All pregnant women in the United States should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit.”
- “Pregnant women who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.”
- “Pregnant women with possible Zika exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.”
- “Pregnant women who traveled to or had unprotected sex with a partner that traveled to or lives in this area should talk to their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika.”
Further, the CDC said that women who have travelled to the area should wait at least eight weeks before trying to get pregnant.
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