Florida Zika Cases Linked to Mosquito-Borne Virus Transmission
The cases are the first known occurrence of local Zika transmission in the continental United States.
Florida has informed the CDC that Zika cases in four people were likely caused by bites of local mosquitoes. These cases mark what are likely the first occurrences of local mosquito Zika transmission in the continental United States.
"All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami," said Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH, director of the CDC. "We continue to recommend that everyone in areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are present—and especially pregnant women—take steps to avoid mosquito bites. We will continue to support Florida's efforts to investigate and respond to Zika and will reassess the situation and our recommendations on a daily basis."
The CDC has been working with governments of all sizes across the country in order to prepare for the Zika virus, Florida included. The agency has provided Florida with $8 million in Zika-specific funding and about $27 million in emergency preparedness funding that can be used for Zika response efforts.
On Aug. 1, CDC and Florida issued travel, testing, and other recommendations for people who traveled to or lived in the Florida-designated areas on or after June 15, which is the earliest known date any of the people could have been infected with Zika. At Florida's request, CDC is also sending a CDC Emergency Response Team with experts in Zika virus, pregnancy and birth defects, vector control, laboratory science, and risk communications to assist in the response. The agencies say their assessments and test results in the Miami neighborhood have found persistent mosquito populations and additional Zika infections, which suggests there is a risk of continued active transmission of Zika virus in that area.
CDC is recommending that pregnant women not travel to the identified area, and also:
- Pregnant women and their partners living in the area should consistently follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
- Pregnant women who traveled to this area on or after June 15 should talk with their health care provider and should be tested for Zika.
- Pregnant women without symptoms of Zika who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested for Zika virus infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
- Women and men who traveled to the area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with symptoms of Zika wait at least 6 months before trying for a pregnancy.
- Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.