And the reason is local mosquitoes are now carrying Zika, a virus capable of causing birth defects, including abnormally small skulls [microcephaly].
From the Centers for Disease Control:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working with Florida health officials on investigating cases of locally transmitted Zika virus. An additional area of active Zika transmission has been identified in a section of Miami Beach, in addition to the area of active Zika transmission near Wynwood. The Florida Department of Health has also identified at least four other instances of apparently mosquito-borne Zika in Miami-Dade County, and has reported an increase in travel-related cases.
Based on this new information, CDC and Florida health officials are now recommending the following:
- Pregnant women should avoid travel to the designated area of Miami Beach, in addition to the designated area of Wynwood, both located in Miami-Dade County, because active local transmission of Zika has been confirmed.
- Pregnant women and their partners living in or who must travel to the designated areas should be aware of active Zika virus transmission and follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
- Women and men who live in or who have traveled to the designated area of Miami Beach since July 14, 2016 should be aware of active Zika virus transmission; pregnant women should see their doctor or other healthcare provider about getting tested for Zika; and people who have a pregnant sex partner should consistently and correctly use condoms to prevent infection during sex or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
- Pregnant women and their sexual partners who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure may also consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.
- All pregnant women in the United States should be evaluated for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit. Each evaluation should include an assessment of signs and symptoms of Zika virus disease (acute onset of fever, rash, arthralgia, conjunctivitis); their travel history; as well as their sexual partner’s potential exposure to Zika virus and history of any illness consistent with Zika virus disease to determine whether Zika virus testing is indicated.
- Women with Zika should wait at least 8 weeks after symptoms start before trying to get pregnant.
- Men with Zika should wait at least 6 months after symptoms start before couples try to get pregnant.
- Women and men without confirmed Zika who traveled to this area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying to get pregnant.
- Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area and who do not have signs or symptoms of Zika should talk to their healthcare provider to inform their decisions about timing of pregnancy.