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Americans: Travel to Zika Zones Like Florida Not Comforting Thought

Image: Americans: Travel to Zika Zones Like Florida Not Comforting Thought

A tour bus makes a stop in front of the Wynwood Walls, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, in the Wynwood area of Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

By    |   Friday, 02 Sep 2016 11:16 AM

Americans are leery of making travel plans to potential Zika virus "zones" this winter, which could affect parts of Florida, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Thursday.

"About half of the public says they would not feel comfortable traveling to places like parts of Florida where people have been infected with the Zika virus by mosquitoes," stated Kaiser.

"In addition, three-fourths (77 percent) say these places are generally unsafe for pregnant women. The Kaiser Family Foundation has been tracking public opinion on Zika since February 2016," the statement continued.

The Miami Herald wrote that concerns about the Zika virus took off after health officials confirmed the country's first infection by mosquitoes in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

Officials confirmed a second Zika zone in Miami-Dade on Aug. 19 in a 1.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach, with links to at least five infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already warned pregnant women to avoid those areas of south Florida. Women thinking about getting pregnant in the area should talk to their health care provider and wait eight weeks before trying to get pregnant if they have traveled to the area, the CDC has suggested.

The Kaiser Health poll stated that 76 percent of those surveyed said that they were aware of locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in the United States and that those transmissions were caused by mosquitoes. The poll added that 58 percent said they knew of travel warnings issued for areas in the U.S. affected by the outbreak.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Thursday that it detected Zika in three mosquito samples from a small area in Miami Beach.

"This find is disappointing, but not surprising," Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said in a statement. "Florida is among the best in the nation when it comes to mosquito surveillance and control, and this detection enables us to continue to effectively target our resources. Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach, and state and federal partners will continue to work aggressively to prevent the spread of Zika."

Adding to the challenge of corralling the Zika virus is the arrival of Hurricane Hermine, which hit Florida this week.

"The good news about hurricanes is they can wash away mosquito populations," Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean at the Baylor College National School of Tropical Medicine, told CBS News. "The downside is that the hurricane will interrupt any ongoing efforts of mosquito control. And then as the floodwaters recede, we could see the reappearance of mosquitoes."

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Americans are leery of making travel plans to potential Zika virus "zones" this winter, which could affect parts of Florida, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Thursday.
americans, travel, zika, zones, florida
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2016-16-02
Friday, 02 Sep 2016 11:16 AM
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