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Zika Virus Update 2:

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By Kathy Sinkin, RN, CDE

The moment we have been dreading is here in the United States. Yes, the Zika virus has been found in an increasing number of people in south Florida. The CDC and Florida officials indicated that the area of concern (as of now) is limited to a one square mile section of the Wynwood area of Miami.

There are now more than 1600 confirmed Zika cases in the continental United States. Until recently, all of them resulted from travel abroad. The virus was contracted either by a mosquito bite or by intercourse with someone who had been to a Zika-affected area. If Florida mosquitoes are now infected, it is likely due to the mosquito biting someone in Florida who had traveled to Latin America and was infected there by a Zika-carrying mosquito.

If you are planning to travel to Miami and are pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant, please discuss this with your doctor regarding the safety of such travel.

Officials with Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have given researchers in Quebec the go-ahead to begin testing a controversial vaccine designed to protect against the Zika virus.

In an alert issued on Monday, 08.01.16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged expectant mothers who frequent that particular Miami area to get tested for Zika. Officials also said that men and women who have recently visited the Wynwood arts district should wait eight weeks before trying to conceive a child.

This article is not intended to take the place of a professional medical examination. Please see your health care provider to discuss your concerns.

Kathy Sinkin is a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at kas239@cornell.edu

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