Hawaii health officials say a baby recently born with microcephaly at an Oahu hospital was infected with the Zika virus in utero. Two of the Florida cases occurred in Miami-Dade County residents who traveled to Colombia in December; the third case is a resident from the Tampa-St.
In Hawaii this week, the first known case in the US of a newborn found with traces of the Zika virus, born with microcephaly, has been reported.
None of the cases were contracted in Florida. If a fetus tests positive for the virus, the agency warns they're unsure if a positive test also predicts microcephaly. For those who do get sick, the common signs of infection include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, with symptoms lasting from several days to several weeks.
The alert recommends that women who are pregnant postpone travel to those areas, and that women wanting to become pregnant consult their doctors before setting out on any trip to those areas. To detect Zika, a blood or tissue sample from the first week in the infection must be sent to an advanced laboratory, so the virus can be detected through molecular testing.
The CDC says, "locally-transmitted Zika virus has not been reported elsewhere in the United States, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers".
The man had two travel companions with him but both were found negative for the virus.
"If they are to use mosquito repellent with Deet or sleep under a net, or soak your clothes in permethrin just to try to limit that interaction in between the mosquito and human", Peterson said. Results from tests conducted at the CDC "represent the strongest scientific evidence to date supporting an association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes", Dr. Petersen said.
"There's a birth defect we're seeing in Brazil that may possibly be related back to the Zika Virus", said Steve Huard, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
The CDC has named 14 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Mexico and Haiti and are advising pregnant women to avoid travel there.
Usually the infection only causes a mild illness, if at all.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel alert to countries where Zika virus is being transmitted on an ongoing basis.
Dr. Denise Jamieson, a medical officer with the CDC division of reproductive medicine and an obstetrician, said prevention is what's most important.
The Zika Virus comes from Mosquitos that mainly breed in those countries with a warmer climate.