U.S. health officials are warning pregnant women to avoid Miami Beach, where Florida officials say mosquitoes have spread the Zika virus to five people.
In a statement Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said pregnant women should avoid travel to the South Beach area, which has been identified as an infection zone.
The CDC said pregnant women also should continue to avoid travel to Miami’s Wynwood arts district. That neighborhood was the first site on the U.S. mainland where health officials determined mosquitoes were transmitting Zika.
The CDC also said pregnant women and their partners may want to consider postponing nonessential travel to all of Miami-Dade County if they’re concerned about potential exposure to the virus.
In the agency’s statement, CDC Director Tom Frieden said it’s “difficult to predict how long active transmission will continue.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says officials have identified a second area of Zika transmission on the U.S. mainland.
Scott told reporters Friday that five Zika infections have been linked to an area that encompasses most of tourist-friendly South Beach.
Florida Department of health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri says officials believe the cases were transmitted by mosquitoes.
Another infection zone was previously identified in Miami’s Wynwood arts district.
Scott says two of the Miami Beach cases involved Miami-Dade County residents, and three involved tourists from New York, Texas and Taiwan.
Scott says the county has begun an aggressive mosquito-eradication plan in Miami Beach.
The city manager of Miami Beach has told local officials that two Zika cases are linked to the community.
In an email Thursday morning to the mayor and city commissioners, Jimmy Morales said his office had been in “constant communication” with Florida’s Department of Health, and he had been informed of two local Zika cases.
Morales said one case involved a tourist who visited Miami Beach about two weeks ago, while the other involved a resident who works in the city. He did not say whether mosquito bites caused the infections.
The Miami Herald first reported the email.
In a statement late Thursday, Morales said Florida’s Department of Health was investigating Zika cases in Miami Beach but no infections were confirmed.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott scheduled a news conference Friday in Miami about the Zika investigations.
This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.