The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its Zika guidance Wednesday, recommending that pregnant women consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County and reiterating a recommendation that pregnant county residents take steps to prevent the virus's spread.
The updated guidance reflects concerns that the virus may be spreading in areas throughout the county, not just in the two "Zika zones" on Miami Beach and near Little River.
Under CDC guidelines, there are two levels of caution for Zika: "red areas" and "yellow areas." Wednesday's update made all of Miami-Dade County into a "yellow area," where local transmission has taken place but the level of risk is not known.
The 4.5-square-mile area on Miami Beach and the 1-square-mile area of Little River remain "red areas," where active transmission of Zika is taking place, presenting a significant risk to pregnant women, according to the CDC's website.
The CDC urges pregnant women to consider postponing travel to Miami-Dade County, to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and to not have unprotected sex with partners who have traveled to or live in the county. It also recommends Zika testing for pregnant women who live in Miami-Dade or travel there frequently. Free Zika testing is available to pregnant women at all county health departments in Florida.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the department is actively investigating nine cases -- six in Miami-Dade County, one in Palm Beach County and two where exposure could have occurred in Miami Beach or overseas in areas with widespread transmission of the virus.
In total, Florida officials have confirmed 1,044 cases of Zika in the state this year. That includes 184 locally acquired cases, 745 travel-related cases, 110 cases involving pregnant women and five cases whose origins could not be confirmed.