Last week Florida and the Center for Disease Control began investigating two possible local Zika infections, making South Beach the potential landing spot for the nation’s first full-blown Zika outbreak.
The Zika virus is already no stranger to the Sunshine State. Since July 21, 288 cases of Zika
have been reported in Florida. Though, thus far, none are suspected of originating in Florida.
In response to the two cases, Florida’s surgeon general has requested the help of the CDC to determine the potential number of infected residents in the Miami area. Residents in the area are urged to take a urine or blood test just to be safe.
The trouble with Zika is that it’s difficult to identify without being tested— though the CDC website has plenty of information. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis and some muscle pain and a headache.
Though Zika and the spread of Zika panics the CDC and every click-hairy news outlet, the virus probably won’t kill you. Pregnant women should worry because the virus can lead to microcephaly, a neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than those of “normal” children.
But the main concern among the CDC is the lack of vaccination, meaning the virus spreads
rapidly, so protect yourself the old-fashioned way— by covering all exposed skin, bathing your
skin in bug spray and avoiding the outdoors. Those worried they may have contracted the virus should see their doctor or health provider immediately.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.