Transcript for CDC Director on Zika Outbreak in Florida
Joining us now with more is the director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden. Dr. Frieden, thank you for your time this morning and this is so alarming to a lot of people because it is a fairly small area, the warning, but it is the first travel advisory in the continental U.S. Since polio which has raised a lot of eyebrows and people want to know do you feel that you're going to have to increase the area? Only time will tell, robin. This is really a new phenomenon. We've never seen a mosquito-borne illness that could cause a birth defect and right now there is this very specific area north of downtown Miami where zika is spreading in that community so we're advising pregnant women not to go there and pregnant women who have to live or work there to do everything possible to prevent mosquito bites. Four cases were announced on Friday and then ten more on Monday and some are saying why wasn't an advisory issued earlier? What we realized over the weekend was that the mosquito counts were not coming down as we had liked so we haven't achieved good mosquito control in that area. And we now have our top experts on the ground working with the top folks in Florida to figure out what more can be done to knock down this very difficult to control mosquito. I know you said that mosquito control there in Miami has not worked as you had hoped. Why not? Well, there are three different possibilities. First, it could be that the mosquitoes there are resistant to the insecticides being used. Unfortunately, there's no quick test for that and can take a week or three or four weeks to figure that out for sure. Second, it may be there are breeding sites that haven't been eliminated. Standing water where mosquitoes continue to be churned out and, third, it is also the case that this is a really tough mosquito to control. This is an unusual neighborhood or an emerging neighborhood. It's mixed use. It has industrial, business and residential and that makes mosquito control very econocomplex. No treatment, no vaccine as of right now and the consequences could be quite dire so this is something that people really need to take seriously. It is and it's not just about this neighborhood. All over the U.S., wherever the mosquito is present, 30 state, generally in the south of the U.S., women who are pregnant really need to do everything they can to protect themselves from mosquito bites and that's difficult putting on deet multiple times on exposed skin, wearing long sleeves and long pant, staying indoors, all these things reduce the risk of mosquito bites. We can't hear them enough. Dr. Frieden, thank you very much. Thank you very much. We haven't had a travel advisory in the continental U.S. Since polio. We move on to the race for
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