The CDC has issued an advisory urging pregnant women to avoid travel to the small area of Miami-Dade County in Florida where the Zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes.
The announcement comes after the Florida Department of Health confirmed Monday that 10 additional cases were transmitted through local mosquitoes in the one-mile radius just north of downtown Miami, bringing the total number to 14.
In a press briefing today, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said that in addition to pregnant women avoiding travel to the area known as Wynwood, pregnant women who live and work there should take every precaution possible to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
This includes using an insect repellent with DEET, wearing long pants and long sleeves, staying indoors with air conditioning or window screens, and eliminating all standing water in and outside of homes where mosquitoes could breed.
On Aug. 1, 2016, the CDC advised pregnant women to avoid this area in Miami, Florida where Zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes.
Zika can also be spread through sex, so men and women who visit, live or work in this area should use condoms to avoid pregnancy and prevent spreading the virusto their partners, Frieden said.
People who have visited this area since June 15th (when the first infection is believe to have occurred) or later should avoid getting pregnant for eight weeks, health officials advised. Pregnant women who have visited the area on or after this date should be screened for Zika.
Zika is usually mild in adults and often causes no symptoms at all, but it is a much bigger hazard for pregnant women because the virus can cause severe birth defects.
The CDC has sent an emergency response team to Florida to assist in the ongoing investigation.