How Serious Is the Zika Virus in Florida?
The most recent warning from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the first time in history that travelers have been warned to avoid an American neighborhood for fear of catching an infectious disease. The CDC's unprecedented travel alert advised that pregnant women and their partners should not travel to the Wynwood Arts District of downtown Miami based on the growing number of cases reported where people were infected with Zika following a bite from a local mosquitoes.
The Wynwood Arts District is located to the east of I-95 just north of downtown Miami. Home to over 70 galleries, this eclectic community features one of the world's largest open-air art walks. In addition, it is well known as the go-to area of Miami for more cultural nightlife, sidewalk cafes, outdoor restaurants and performing art spaces. In the wake of the CDC's travel warning, Governor Rick Scott formally requested that the CDC activate their emergency response team to assist the Florida Department of Health in trying to contain local transmissions of the Zika virus through improved mosquito control efforts.
Recommended Precautions for Zika Virus
The potentially life-changing viral infection is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that led to an outbreak of dengue in Key West back in 2009. Although U.S. health officials hope to contain the Zika virus quickly, area residents and travelers may remember that the dengue outbreak continued for more than a year. The CDC is advising that anyone living in the Wynwood area as well as those traveling to and from Miami to take standard precautions, such as removing standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs, using air conditioning, patching any window or door screens, wearing sleeved shirts and pants, and applying an insect repellent that contains at least 25% DEET.
If you or a loved one experiences Zika symptoms, contact either PrimeMed location in Jacksonville or Orange Park to see a doctor. A diagnosis can only be confirmed through lab tests performed on blood or other body fluids. PrimeMed's goal is to provide same day appointments for new patients. To schedule your visit, call our centralized appointment desk at 904-269-0500.