Zika Virus Escapes the Wynwood, Miami Exclusion Zone

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico declares a health emergency, with more than 10,600 cases of Zika

 

August 19, 2016

Baby born with Zika Virus. A small head or microcephaly, is the greatest threat posed by the virus.

A case of infection has been reported by Florida health authorities outside the one square mile Wynwood area of Miami, where the virus was thought to have been contained. It is not known if a mosquito travelled outside the zone, or if the virus itself is now infecting people outside Wynwood.

There's no evidence of active spread of the Zika Virus, outside Wynwood. But one Miami woman with Zika who lives outside of Wynwood in Miami has been reported this week.

Meanwhile, the US Government has declared a Zika virus emergency. 10,690 cases of Zika have been reported in Puerto Rico, with the total expected to be 1,000,000 (1 in 4 Puerto Ricans) by the end of 2016.

Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne illness. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are a mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days. Seek medical care if symptoms worsen.

As of early 2016, a widespread outbreak of Zika was ongoing, primarily in the Americas. The outbreak began in April 2015 in Brazil, and has spread to other countries in South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In January 2016, the WHO said the virus was likely to spread throughout most of the Americas by the end of the year; and in February 2016, the WHO declared the cluster of microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome cases reported in Brazil – strongly suspected to be associated with the Zika outbreak – a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.


It is estimated that 1.5 million people have been infected by Zika in Brazil, with over 3,500 cases of microcephaly reported between October 2015 and January 2016.

A number of countries have issued travel warnings, and the outbreak is expected to significantly impact the tourism industry. Several countries have taken the unusual step of advising their citizens to delay pregnancy until more is known about the virus and its impact on fetal development.

With the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, health officials worldwide have voiced concerns over a potential crisis, both in Brazil and when international athletes and tourists, who may be unknowingly infected, return home and possibly spread the virus. Some researchers speculate that only one or two tourists may be infected during the three week period, or approximately 3.2 infections per 100,000 tourists.

Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne illness. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are a mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days. Seek medical care if symptoms worsen.

 

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