New assessments of mosquito populations and test results this past weekend by Florida public health officials, as part of a community survey in the Miami neighborhood where several Zika infections were recently confirmed, have found persistent mosquito populations and additional Zika infections in the same area.
This information suggests that there is a risk of continued active transmission of Zika virus in that area. As a result, CDC and Florida are issuing travel, testing and other recommendations for people who traveled to or lived in the Florida-designated areas on or after June 15, 2016, the earliest known date that one of the people could have been infected with Zika.
At Florida's request, CDC is also sending a CDC Emergency Response Team (CERT) with experts in Zika virus, pregnancy and birth defects, vector control, laboratory science, and risk communications to assist in the response. Two CDC team members are already on the ground in Florida, three more will arrive today, and three more on Tuesday, August 2.
"We work closely with Florida to gather and analyze new information every day. With the new information that there are active mosquitoes still in the area and additional Zika infections, we conclude that pregnant women should avoid this area - and make every effort to prevent mosquito bites if they live or work there," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "We apply the same criteria within and outside of the United States, and are working closely with the State of Florida and Miami health departments to provide preventive services, including mosquito control."
CDC continues to encourage everyone living in areas with Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, especially pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Apply insect repellent containing DEET to uncovered skin, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, use or repair screens on windows and doors, use air conditioning when available, and remove standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs.
"We continue to work closely with Florida public health officials to investigate the infections identified in Miami and to intensify mosquito control efforts to reduce the risk of additional infections," said Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., incident manager for CDC's Zika Response and director, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. "Florida officials are experienced in this type of work, and together we are working to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating effects of this virus."
Based on the confirmation of local Zika transmission in Florida, CDC has updated its Interim Zika Response Plan (CONUS and HI) and has released the Zika Community Action Response Toolkit (Z-CART) to help states with risk communication and community engagement when local transmission is identified.
For more information about Zika: www.cdc.gov/zika/