Last updated: 02:50 AM ET, Fri August 05 2016

CDC Director: Florida Zika Advisory Could Last A Year

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | August 04, 2016

CDC Director: Florida Zika Advisory Could Last A Year

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

The historic travel advisory the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued for a neighborhood north of downtown Miami this week could remain in place for as long as a year, CDC director Tom Frieden told the Washington Post.

There's no timetable on when the advisory discouraging pregnant women and their partners from traveling to Wynwood will be lifted, considering new cases could emerge in the coming months. However, local officials are comparing the recent Zika virus circulation in South Florida to an outbreak of dengue fever that occurred in the Florida Keys several years back.

"When dengue hit Florida a few years ago, it took over a year to control that outbreak," Frieden told the Post. "We certainly hope that doesn't happen."

"We saw what happened in the Florida Keys and that did go on for a long time despite extensive efforts," added Frieden.

Frieden described the affected neighborhood as "complicated," pointing out that it includes schools, parks, industrial areas, businesses and retail spaces. 

"So figuring out how to control mosquitoes there is going to take a lot of creativity and a lot of community engagement because you have to get rid of every drop of standing water," he told the Post.

READ MORE: Florida Tourism Officials Brace for Impact After Miami Zika Outbreak

The CDC and local officials are currently testing insecticides to see which are most effective. But it's possible officials will opt for an aerial spray capable of killing adult and larval mosquitoes.

"In our experience, that is the most effective way to reach an entire area," Frieden told the Post. "Even if you go into every house, you don’t get to the top of roofs, you don’t get behind houses, there’s always some places you can't reach."

While Zika concerns are sure to outpace the number of actual cases in Florida, travelers are encouraged to use mosquito repellent that includes DEET.


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