Although several media outlets are reporting that health officials in Puerto Rico have declared the destination’s battle with the mosquito-born Zika virus to be over, a Zika-related travel notice by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains in effect.
"Public health officials have reported that mosquitoes in Puerto Rico are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people,” according to the notice. “Because Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, CDC recommends that travelers to Puerto Rico protect themselves from mosquito bites."
The CDC also stressed the need for continued vigilance, noting that its recommendation that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant not travel to areas with Zika, including Puerto Rico, remains in effect.
According to the Washington Post, the health ministry said that only 10 cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been reported in each four-week period since April, compared with more than 8,000 cases reported in a four-week period at the height of the outbreak last August. The Puerto Rico Department of Health has reported only 38 cases of Zika-related birth defects, according to CNN.
“While there are very low levels of mosquito-borne Zika transmission now, it is important that we remain vigilant to keep these numbers down and support families already affected by Zika," State Epidemiologist Dr. Carmen Deseda said in a recent news release.
In the continental United States, with 1,579 Zika-infected pregnant women, there have been 80 pregnancy losses or babies born with birth defects, according to the CDC.