In Miami Tuesday, the head of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden delivered what he called the “plain truth” about Zika and the mosquitoes that carry it. “Zika and other diseases spread by Aedes aegypti,” he said, “are really not controllable with current technologies.”
The CDC has upgraded its Zika-related health advisory for Florida. The agency says it now believes there’s a risk of local transmission in all of Miami-Dade County. It’s advising pregnant women to avoid areas in the county where local transmission is taking place and to consider postponing travel to all parts of the county.
Pregnant women are considered most at risk for Zika, because it’s been linked to microcephaly and other birth defects. Yessica Flores remembers the day she was told she has Zika. She’s 38 years old and was in her fourth month of pregnancy when tests for Zika came back positive.
“It was very hard to hear that,” she says, “and I asked God for help. The doctor asked me to calm down — everything always has a solution.”
Doctors aren’t sure where Flores contracted Zika. She works at a school in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, an area where mosquitoes have spread the virus. She also had recently visited her native Honduras, where Zika is being locally transmitted.
So far, regular ultrasounds show her baby girl is healthy. The baby’s head is growing normally and there are no signs of problems yet.
Flores and her husband have already named the baby Daniela Elizabeth. Flores says she’s relying on her religious faith. “God is giving me the strength to keep going,” she says.
Flores is one of more than 110 pregnant women who have tested positive for Zika in Florida. Her physician, Dr. Christine Curry at the University of Miami, says fighting the disease is about more than just treating pregnant women. …