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UPDATE: CDC Adds More Destinations To Zika Travel Alert

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the travel alert on the Zika virus. Eight tropical destinations are now on the list of places where there has been an outbreak of the virus.

Barbados, Saint Martin and Cape Verde are just three of the now 22 places health officials are advising pregnant women, or trying to become pregnant, to avoid. That’s because the mosquito-borne virus is linked with severe birth defects.

Dr. Federico Laham works in pediatric infectious diseases, “in the state of Florida we’ve had confirmed cases on three travelers,” he said. “Two of them who traveled to Columbia, one of them who traveled to Venezuela.”

Laham reminds people that the Zika virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Symptoms include fever, rash and joint pain, but most of those infected aren’t showing symptoms.

List of Destinations: (source: Washington Post)

Brazil
Colombia
El Salvador
French Guiana
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Martinique
Mexico
Panama
Paraguay
Suriname
Venezuela
Puerto Rico

Added on Friday:
Barbados
Bolivia
Ecuador
Guadeloupe
Saint Martin
Guyana
Cape Verde
Samoa

Florida Health Officials Warn Travelers 

The Florida Department of Health is warning pregnant women about a mosquito virus in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. The Zika virus has been linked to birth defects.

Orange County health department Director Kevin Sherin said while pregnant women should avoid traveling to these places, all travelers should use mosquito repellant and watch for symptoms.

“Zika virus is a relatively mild clinical illness that has conjunctivitis, which is red eyes, a rash, joint pain and a fever. It can last up to a week, often times only a couple of days. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all,” said Sherin.

Health officials know of three Zika cases in Florida from people who traveled to Columbia and Venezuela last month. The virus can’t be transmitted from person to person.

Sherin said it’s possible local mosquitoes could pick up the virus if they bite an infected person.


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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