Zika Virus Spreads in Miami

For the first time in its history, the CDC has issued a travel warning about a city in mainland United States. The warning applies to Wynwood, a neighborhood in northern Miami, Florida, in which multiple people have contracted the Zika virus. The CDC advises pregnant women and their partners to avoid travel to this location. The organization also suggests that healthy women put any pregnancy plans on pause until the outbreak is under control.

This is just the latest blow to Miami tourism since the Zika outbreak began. So far 15 patients have been diagnosed. Experts fear the threat could grow, since the number of carrier mosquitoes has shown no decrease.

Infected Aedes species mosquitoes spread the virus through their bites, which can occur during the day or at night. An infected person can also spread the virus through sexual contact, and pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus.

Symptoms include fever, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain, rashes and headaches. Most Zika infections are mild and don’t require treatment. However, for pregnant women, Zika causes a severe fetal brain defect called microcephaly in their child.

The CDC advises Miami residents and travelers to take precautions, such as using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, using mosquito netting and avoiding swampy areas where mosquitoes thrive.

Residents or travelers who are concerned about the virus hould visit a doctor or other healthcare provider. There are blood and urine tests that can confirm an infection. Treatment includes rest, increased fluid intake to prevent dehydration and the use of painkillers to reduce pain and fever. People who suspect they have Zika should avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and refrain from sexual activities.

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