Been through Miami lately? Confirmed Zika cases prompt warning, caution

By Land Line staff | 8/1/2016

Mosquito bites in a Miami neighborhood have been linked to 14 cases of the Zika virus – a virus linked to birth defects.

The first U.S. confirmed cases of locally contracted Zika virus from mosquito bites have been confirmed in Florida and according to a press release from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, 14 individuals have contracted the virus, 12 men and two women. All those infected with the virus live in a one-square-mile area just south of I-195.

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The area outlined is the area where all 14 cases of the U.S. contracted Zika virus has occurred according to the Florida governor’s office.

The first-known cases of the virus being contracted in the United States and not while traveling abroad has prompted the Florida governor to call on the CDC to activate an emergency response team to help with sample collection, investigation and mosquito control.

Men and women who have traveled through or visited this area since June 15 are being warned against attempting to impregnate or become pregnant for anywhere from eight weeks to six months, depending on whether they have contracted the virus and gender.

The virus can be contracted from bites from Zika positive mosquitos; from contact with infected blood; during unprotected sex with an infected individual; and from a pregnant woman to her fetus. The CDC recommends women who have contracted the Zika virus wait at least eight weeks before trying to conceive. Men should wait at least six months after symptoms before having unprotected sex in hopes of conception. Individuals who travel in high-risk areas for infection are cautioned to wait at least eight weeks before any attempt to become pregnant.

There are no vaccines for the virus or the birth defects it causes. The CDC urges prevention against mosquito bites, including avoiding or emptying any standing water as well as wearing clothing and mosquito repellant to avoid being bitten.

Read more from “truckin’ doc” John McElligott, MD, about the virus and prevention tips here.

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