CDC Warns Pregnant Women Not to Travel to Miami Beach Due to Zika

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning pregnant women and their partners not to travel to Miami Beach due to the presence of the Zika virus in mosquitos in the area. Pregnant women and their partners who do live in or travel to affected areas should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. 

The Florida Department of Health has identified two areas in Miami where Zika is being spread by local mosquitos, the CDC said: the Wynwood neighborhood, where local transmission was detected back in July, and a 1.5 square mile section of Miami Beach ranging from the beach to the Intracoastal Waterway and from Eighth Street to 28th Street

The warning comes after Florida Governor Rick Scott confirmed five new locally-transmitted cases of the Zika virus in Miami Beach on Friday. 

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Henry Harteveldt, founder of travel consultancy Atmosphere Research Group, told Fortune that the news could hurt travel in the area. 

“Even if 1 percent or 2 percent of potential travelers decide not to go to Florida, whether it’s for leisure or for business, there could be a multi-million dollar hit to the local economy,” Harteveldt told Fortune.

According to the Washington Post, Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Health has warned that Texas and Louisiana could be the next states to be hit by the virus, particularly due to recent flooding in Louisiana. Local transmission has not yet been detected in either state. 

This month, federal researchers began the first human clinical trial of a Zika vaccine, the Washington Post said. Even if the vaccine proves effective, however, it would still take some time for the vaccine to become widely available, with large-scale trials beginning in early 2017 at the earliest. 

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry news, trends and updates. 

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