Tourism: CDC travel warning includes Miami South Beach


Tourism is a main income earner in South Beach and surrounding communities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Florida governor identified a new 1.5-mile transmission zone for the Zika virus in Miami Beach, saying new cases have emerged involving 3 tourists and 2 locals. Tourists planning to visit South Florida or who had recently been to Miami, Florida, including the famous resort beaches should be aware of a dangerous Zika outbreak.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a firm warning today to be aware of this spreading Zika outbreak.

The Florida Department of Health has identified an area in one neighborhood of Miami where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. This guidance is for people who live in or traveled to this area any time after June 15 (based on the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for the Zika virus).

Pregnant women and their partners
Pregnant women should not travel to this area.
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.

Couples thinking about getting pregnant
Women with Zika should wait at least 8 weeks and men with Zika should wait at least 6 months after symptoms began to try to get pregnant.
Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area should talk to their healthcare provider.
Women and men who traveled to this area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to get pregnant.

As of mid-2016, a widespread epidemic of Zika fever, caused by the Zika virus, is ongoing in the Americas and the Pacific. The outbreak began in early 2015 in Brazil, then spread to other parts of South and North America; it is also affecting several islands in the Pacific. In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus was likely to spread throughout most of the Americas by the end of the year.

In February 2016, WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern as evidence grew that Zika can cause birth defects as well as neurological problems. The virus can be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus, then can cause microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies in the infant. Zika infections in adults can result in Guillain–Barré syndrome. Prior to this outbreak, Zika was considered a mild infection, as most Zika virus infections are asymptomatic, making it difficult to determine precise estimates of the number of cases. In approximately one in five cases, Zika virus infections result in Zika fever, a minor illness that causes symptoms such as fever and a rash.

The virus is spread mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is commonly found throughout the tropical and subtropical Americas. It can also be spread by the Aedes albopictus (“Asian tiger”) mosquito, which is distributed as far north as the Great Lakes region in North America. Men infected with Zika can transmit the virus to their sexual partners.

A number of countries have issued travel warnings, and the outbreak is expected to reduce tourism significantly. Several countries have taken the unusual step of advising their citizens to delay pregnancy until more is known about the virus and its impact on fetal development.