It's been a while since we've screamed the word "ZIKA!!!!" at you in a headline, but mosquito season is on its way in the United States and elsewhere in our hemisphere, so here it is. Today, the city's Department of Health issued a reminder regarding areas still subject to Zika-related travel warnings in advance of the summer travel season and, yes, Miami's still affected.
The Health Department has emphasized travel warnings for Zika-affected areas like the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America (full list here), all of which are still battling ongoing Zika transmissions. Though neither Miami-Dade County in Florida nor Brownsville in Texas have current reported Zika cases, they've also been included in the travel warning following Zika outbreaks in those areas last year. From the NYC Health Department:
New Yorkers returning from Zika-affected areas should use condoms for all sexual activity to prevent transmission. Men should use a condom for at least six months. Women should avoid becoming pregnant for two months. In addition, pregnant women or women planning pregnancy should not have unprotected sex with a partner who has traveled to a Zika-affected country in the preceding six months.
Though Zika's been in the news a lot less than it was during 2016's much-publicized epidemic—indeed, just last week Brazil ended its Zika-related state of national emergency—the virus is still taking a toll there, as well as in countries like Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico, Cuba, and in the Caribbean. You can see a list of locations with ongoing transmissions as of May 2017 here, as well as on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
According to the city's Health Department, a total of 1,067 New Yorkers have tested positive for Zika, 402 of whom were pregnant. The city says of those pregnant women, 32 infants have either been born with birth defects consistent with those linked to the virus, like microcephaly, or tested positive for the virus. No mosquitos in the area have tested positive for Zika and all local cases of the virus are believed to be associated with travel, though it's noteworthy that a number of them are believed to have been sexually transmitted. "It is critical that New Yorkers who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, along with their sexual partners, do not travel to Zika-affected areas," Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio said in a statement.
And if you do contract Zika—whose flulike symptoms include fever, rash, headache, joint pain and muscle pain—there's more bad news for your bad news collection:
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) May 25, 2017