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Miami Zika escalates prompting travel advisory

Oct
01

Date: October 1st, 2016

This is the first time that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a travel advisory against a place in the continental USA. Florida health officials reported an increase in the number of people infected by the local mosquitoes from 4 to 14. The rise comprised of 2 women and 12 men. However, they refused to state whether any of the women was expectant but said that all these cases were recorded in the same neighborhood.

Can’t be compared to Latin America infections

The health officials said that the outbreak could not be compared to the Zika virus cases recorded in Latin America in the past few months. The newly infected are speculated to have gotten the infection in mid-June.

But this new update puts into question how effective South Florida is in controlling mosquitoes. It casts a doubt on the ability of the tourism industry to overcome this hurdle and whether it will attract more than the 100 million visitors who came in 2015.

As a sign that these cases may have an impact on Miami tourism, Britain’s health agency advised the pregnant women to postpone any nonessential travel to the area until after delivery.

Aedes aegypti mosquito resists insecticides

The C.D.C director, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, said that the Aedes aegypti mosquito responsible for transmitting Zika virus is wily in the crowded North Miami neighborhood. The mosquito is likely to have developed a resistance for the insecticides. In a briefing to the media, he said that the control measures are not working as well as they should.

He went ahead to state that new Zika infections were expected to arise in the neighborhood. But what concerned them most was the “moderately high” numbers of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and larvae found in Wynnewood – an area of condominiums, apartments, bars, restaurants, art galleries and warehouses.
Dr. Frieden said that the area mosquitoes would undergo a test to determine if they are resistant to insecticides. He added that they had developed two types of pyrethroids.

Advice for pregnant women

He advised the pregnant women to avoid travelling in these areas and also asked those who live and work in the area to have safe sex with their partners and avoid mosquito bites.

Those who had travelled in the area after 15th June were also advised to see doctor for testing on the possibility of an infection. In addition, the women who had considered getting pregnant were advised not to do soup to eight weeks after getting back to Miami.

The entire mosquito found in the area have tested negative for the virus, but the life span of the species is known to be short. Experts are considering the possibility of the virus-carrying-mosquitoes having acquired from an infected traveler.

The state requested the C.D.C to dispatch an emergency response team. The team was dispatched into the field and comprises of 8 experts from mosquito control and birth defects departments.

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