On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel warning to avoid the area north of Miami over Zika concerns.
According to CDC spokesman Tom Skinner, this is the first time the CDC has warned people against traveling to a U.S. neighborhood over concerns of an infectious disease transmission.
Florida has had a total of 15 infected people, with four of them contracting the virus within the same 150-square-meter area. According to CNN, the new cases were found by door-to-door surveys of 200 people in their homes and businesses, and they were identified by urine and blood samples that tested positive for the virus or antibody.
“New test measurements over the weekend showed a risk of continued active transmission in that area,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden announced in a conference Monday. “Because of this finding, we are advising pregnant women not to travel to that area and if they have traveled there on or after June 15 to visit their healthcare provider for testing.”
Frieden also said that “aggressive control measures,” such as pesticides, are not working as well as they would like in Miami.
“The mosquitos could be resistant to the pesticides being used, or the mosquitos could be hiding in what we call ‘cryptic’ breeding places that are hard to find, like very small amounts of water where they can hatch,” he said. “The Aedes aegypti [the mosquito responsible for spreading the Zika virus] is a really tough mosquito to control.”
While many Floridians are concerned that the warning will affect the state’s tourism industry, as it is a major source of Florida’s economy, the state has not released any details on Zika’s effects on tourism.