CDC Eases Travel Advisory in Miami Neighborhoods, but Zika Zone Continues to Expand
There’s good and bad news for the people of Miami concerned about the Zika virus. While the Centers for Disease Control has officially lifted its travel advisory for pregnant women in the Wynwood neighborhood, the Zika zone in Miami Beach has expanded to include 4.5 miles of area known to harbor virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Florida Governor Rock Scott celebrated the advisory lift in Wynwood on Monday, where no new cases of Zika have been reported within the past 45 days.
“We had an issue, everybody took it seriously and we solved it,” Scott said, crediting the aggressive tactics deployed to control mosquito populations in the area. “…Everybody should be coming back here and enjoying themselves.”
The CDC, however, remained more cautious.
“We want to continue to emphasize to pregnant women that they still should consider postponing non-essential travel for all of Miami-Dade (County). That is still in effect,” said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.
Any location in the state of Florida is never more than 60 miles from a beach, but the Miami-Dade area in particular has had significant issues with Zika, where 93 locally-transmitted case have been confirmed so far.
People infected with Zika may not exude any symptoms or experience only mild illness. However, the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with birth defects in children of infected women, including an abnormal brain and skull development known as microcephaly.
Despite the ease of caution in Wynwood, the CDC recommends that any women who may have come in contact with Zika wait at least eight weeks before attempting to become pregnant. Men who may have had the virus should wait six months to attempt impregnation, as the virus may also be sexually transmitted.
Future efforts to combat Zika on U.S. soil may depend on Congressional approval, where a spending bill to fund Zika control has been repeatedly delayed.