The Zika Virus Is Spreading in Miami, CDC Issues Travel Warning

Zika Miami
Carlos Varas, a Miami-Dade County mosquito inspector, sprays around homes in the Wynwood area of Miami on August 2, 2016. Emily Michot/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images

You may want to reconsider that trip to South Beach. 

Federal health officials in the U.S. are urging pregnant women — and those trying to have a child — to avoid traveling to Miami’s trendy Wynwood Arts District, where a total of 15 people likely caught Zika virus. That means local mosquitoes are spreading the disease. 

Expectant mothers who have been in the neighborhood after June 15, should be tested for Zika, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, while couples should wait at least eight weeks before trying to conceive. 

Zika virus can cause severe birth defects such as microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with unusually small heads and underdeveloped brains. 

Zika baby
Dr. Stella Guerra performs physical therapy on an infant born with microcephaly, a birth defect linked to the Zika virus, at Altino Ventura Foundation on June 2, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. Mario Tama/Getty Images

“We are reviewing historical records, but this may be, in fact, the first time we’ve ever told people not to travel to a particular area in the continental U.S. due to an outbreak of an infectious disease,” CDC senior press officer Tom Skinner told the New York Post on Monday.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said it has been difficult to control the mosquito population in the 1-square-mile area. “The mosquitoes could be resistant to pesticides being used, or the mosquitoes could be hiding in what we call ‘cryptic’ breeding places that are hard to find, like very small amounts of water where they can hatch,” Dr. Frieden told CNN. 

JetBlue announced on Monday that customers traveling to or from destinations reported by the CDC to be affected by the Zika virus may qualify for a refund.

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