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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to work with Florida health officials to investigate new cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Miami-Dade County. Florida today announced a new area of active Zika transmission in an area of about one square mile in Miami-Dade County (NW 79th St. to the North, NW 63rd St. to the South, NW 10th Ave. to the West and N. Miami Ave. to the East). The Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) has identified five people, two women, and three men, in the new area. Three live in the area; the other two either work in or have visited this area. FLDOH has evidence that Zika is only actively being transmitted in this new area and the existing area in Miami Beach.
Based on this new information, CDC and Florida health officials recommend at this time:
• Pregnant women should avoid travel to the newly designated area, in addition to the previously identified designated areas in Miami-Dade County, because active local transmission of Zika has been identified.
• Pregnant women and their sexual partners who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure may also consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.
• All pregnant women in the United States should be evaluated for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit. Each evaluation should include an assessment of signs and symptoms of Zika virus disease (acute onset of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis [red eyes]); their travel history; as well as their sexual partner's potential exposure to Zika virus and history of any illness consistent with Zika virus disease to determine whether Zika virus testing is indicated.
• Pregnant women and their partners living in or who must travel to the designated areas should be aware of active Zika virus transmission and follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
• Women and men who live in or who have traveled to the newly designated area since August 26th should be aware of active Zika virus transmission in the area.
• Women and men who are planning to conceive in the near future should consider avoiding nonessential travel to this newly designated area.
• Women who are diagnosed with Zika should wait at least 8 weeks after a positive laboratory testing before trying to get pregnant.
• Men who are diagnosed with Zika should wait at least 6 months after a positive laboratory test before trying to get their partner pregnant.
• Women who traveled to this area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to get pregnant, regardless of whether they had symptoms.
• Men who traveled to this area should wait at least 6 months before trying to get pregnant, regardless of whether they had symptoms.
• Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area and who do not have signs or symptoms of Zika should talk to their healthcare provider to inform their decisions about timing of pregnancy.
Detecting local spread of Zika virus is difficult for several reasons:
• The incubation period for Zika virus infection is up to two weeks,
• Many infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and
• Diagnosis and investigation of cases may take several weeks.
For this reason, it is possible that other neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County have active Zika virus transmission that is not yet apparent.
CDC is working closely with Florida state and local health officials to review current testing recommendations.
CDC support for Florida
CDC has been working with state, local, and territorial health officials to prepare for the possibility of locally transmitted Zika virus in the United States. Officials from Florida participated in all these activities, and their experience in responding to mosquito-borne diseases similar to Zika virus disease has been an important source of knowledge in this effort. To date, CDC has provided Florida more than $8 million in Zika-specific funding and about $27 million in emergency preparedness funding that can be used toward Zika response efforts. Next week, CDC will provide Florida with more than $2.6 million in Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funding that can be used to support Zika response efforts. These funds are part of the $44 million of PHEP funding that was included in the Zika emergency supplemental passed by Congress in September.
Since February, CDC has sent enough materials to Florida for approximately 11,025-12,600 Zika antibody tests, including materials for 6,300 tests shipped in August in response to Florida Governor Scott’s request. CDC’s Atlanta and Fort Collins, CO, laboratories are also assisting by testing specimens from pregnant women for the Florida Department of Health and are working with Florida on other possible support for Zika lab testing. As of October 11, 5 CDC personnel were deployed in Florida and 8 are pending, with a total of 30 since the beginning of the response, including 12 CDC laboratory staff.
It is understandable that women will be especially concerned, and there are things that everyone can do based on what is currently known. While there are still many unanswered questions about Zika, CDC is working hard to find out more about these infections. Here is what is known:
• Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus).
• Zika virus can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth (periconceptional/intrauterine/perinatal transmission). We do not know how often this happens.
• Zika virus infection is associated with birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes, especially microcephaly.
• A person who is infected with Zika virus can pass it to sex partners.
• Most people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
• No vaccines or treatments are currently available to treat or prevent Zika infections.
As of October 12, 2016, 3,936 cases of Zika had been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii, including 878 pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika infection. These cases also include 32 believed to be the result of sexual transmission and one case that was the result of a laboratory exposure.
For more information about Zika: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/