As part of a community survey in the Miami neighborhood where several Zika infections were recently confirmed, new assessments of mosquito populations and test results by Florida public health officials 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 date that any of the individuals diagnosed with Zika could have been infected with the virus.
At Florida’s request, CDC has dispatched an eight-member CDC emergency response team with experts in Zika virus, pregnancy and birth defects, vector control, laboratory science, and risk communications. CDC recommends:
- Pregnant women not travel to the identified area.
- Pregnant women and their partners living in this 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, 2016, should talk with their healthcare 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.
- Male and female sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to this area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
- All pregnant women in the United States who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.
- Women and men who traveled to this area 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.
- Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area who do not have signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease and are considering pregnancy should consider the risks associated with Zika virus infection, and may wish to consult their healthcare provider to help inform their decisions about timing of pregnancy.
- Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.
“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,” says CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “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,” says Lyle R. Petersen, MD, MPH, incident manager for CDC’s Zika response and director of the agency’s 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 and has released a Zika community action response toolkit to help states with risk communication and community engagement when local transmission is identified.
For more information about Zika, visit www.cdc.gov/zika.
- Interim CDC Zika response plan (CONUS and Hawaii): initial response to Zika virus. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Available at: www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zika-draft-interim-conus-plan.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2016.
- Operational risk communication and community engagement plan: responding to local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Available at: www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/z-cart-plan.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2016.