People who never thought they could have caught Zika in Florida may, in fact, have become infected, federal health officials said Monday. They say some people from south Florida may have traveled to the Miami-area Zika zone and forgotten. If these are women who were pregnant at the time, or men, they could have become infected with Zika and not known it.
“Given the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy, we believe this risk is particularly relevant for women who have been in contact with men in the tri-county area,” Dr. Denise Jamieson, incident commander for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika Emergency Response, told reporters. That means a pregnant woman living in Broward or Palm Beach counties may have become infected and not known it—because Zika doesn’t cause symptoms in most people.
Men may have become infected and because their semen can remain infectious for months, they could unknowingly infected a pregnant woman even now. The new warnings go back to June 15 of last year, meaning people could have become infected as far back as that date, the CDC said. Miami was declared a Zika zone at the end of July.