• By Deborah Balzer

Zika: What You Need to Know About the CDC Travel Advisory

August 3, 2016

an airplane flying over the ocean into the sunset

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency travel advisory after health officials in Florida identified local transmission of Zika virus in a Miami neighborhood. The CDC advisory recommends pregnant women and their partners avoid nonessential travel to Lynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, Florida where the Zika virus is active.

Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh says, "It is somewhat unprecedented for a travel advisory to be issued to a very specific neighborhood. That's a testament to the strength of the epidemiology that has been going on, and how well the CDC and other health authorities have been working at this."

Listen to Dr. Tosh talk about Zika in Florida

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Tosh are in the downloads.

Dr. Tosh says it is difficult to know what happens next and whether local transmission of the virus expands beyond the area or is contained. "It's important to remember that if you are traveling to an area that has ongoing Zika virus transmission to wear insect repellent and try to avoid mosquito bites," says Dr. Tosh. The continued use of insect repellent for about three weeks after visiting an area identified with transmissions of Zika virus is also important. Dr. Tosh says, "Most people who get infected with Zika virus have no symptoms whatsoever, but they can have transient amounts of Zika virus in their blood, which if they are bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito can pick it up and give it to another person."

Dr. Tosh adds, “If a woman is planning to become pregnant, she and her male sex partner should wait at least eight weeks after coming back from an area of ongoing local Zika transmission before trying to conceive or at least six months if her male sex partner developed evidence of Zika virus infection."

New CDC recommendations include:

  • Pregnant women should avoid nonessential travel to the area with active Zika virus transmission identified by the Florida Department of Health.
  • Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to the area with active Zika virus transmission should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

Visit the CDC site for the latest Zika news.

CDC image of an Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the Zika virus

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