The Zika outbreak is continuing to spread throughout the world, causing panic. In American territory, the areas suffering the worst of it are presently found in Puerto Rico, where cases are reportedly skyrocketing, and now a surge of new cases in Miami is causing alarm.
In fact, it is so bad that, for the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised against traveling to an area in the continental United States.
The infected area is Wynwood, an urban neighborhood in north Miami.
According to a report on nytimes.com, as part of the alert, Dr. Denise J. Jamieson, a leader of the C.D.C.’s pregnancy and birth defects team has stated, “we are recommending women who are considering pregnancy not get pregnant for up to eight weeks after returning from that area.”
What prompted the alert? Florida health officials say that the number of Zika cases caused by mosquitoes in Wynwood rose from just four to fourteen over this past weekend.
The surge in infections, which includes twelve men and two women, brings the scare of Zika close to home for many Americans who might have felt that the problematic virus was not something they would ever have to deal with.
Some might even be left wondering why stronger efforts haven’t been put forth in Miami to contain Zika.It’s such a common destination for visitors from tropical areas that might already contain higher rates of Zika, that is seems like a no-brainer as a place to administer some extra safeguards.
Officials say, though, that it’s been an uphill battle.
According to nytimes.com, spray trucks and other measures have been used to try and treat any Zika contamination in Florida, but in areas like Wynwood, it’s only legal to spray at night, while Aedes aegypti mosquitoes-those that can carry Zika- are more active during the day, limiting its effectiveness.
Some officials are also saying that the mosquito may have become resistant to the insecticides being used in the area.
The fact that this particular mosquito is so good at surviving in small amounts of standing water-even bottle caps- also makes things difficult.
The only quasi-silver lining? If you bought a plane ticket to travel to a Zika-impacted area confirmed by the CDC, and it’s through JetBlue, the company will possibly give you a refund.
If you went with American Airlines though, unfortunately it seems that you’re stuck.
(You could, however, turn your destination into a stopover and get a connecting flight and take your vacation elsewhere-like the many lakes of Michigan, just sayin’.)
American Airlines’ defense over why they aren’t issuing refunds, even to pregnant women?
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the company said, “The C.D.C. advisory doesn’t tell people they shouldn’t travel to Miami.”
It’s just an advisory for Wynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, but not the whole city. Sure, Mr. Feinstein. Mosquitoes and people likely never migrate from one postal code to another without first checking their bags and blood at the counter, for inspection.
There you have it.