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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Health officials added more countries to the list of places to watch out for when it comes to the mosquito-born Zika virus.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, Guyana, Cape Verde, and Samoa to the list. Other places on the list include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Brazil; Colombia; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Suriname; and Venezuela.
This means travelers going to these places should try to prevent or be aware of possible symptoms of the virus.
Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Florida.
Last week, CDC officials released a travel alert for people going to those places including women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
They warn there may be a possible link between the virus and birth defects like Microcephaly – a neurological disorder that can cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads. The CDC is investigating a possible link between the two.
They are also investigating a possible link between Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The CDC say GBS has been reported in patients with probable Zika virus infection in French Polynesia and Brazil.
While there is no vaccine or medicine to treat the Zika virus, the CDC says there are forms of prevention like:
- Using insect repellent that contains things like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products.
- Treating clothing with permethrin.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Using air conditioning or windows/door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Reducing the amount of mosquitoes inside and outside your home or hotel by emptying standing water from containers.
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