History tells us that Florida is uniquely equipped to address big challenges, whether it’s a weather event or a public health matter—but Congress has a job to do, and must do it soon.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifted a previous Zika travel advisory on the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, while expanding the active transmission zone in Miami Beach. While we are not out of the woods yet (pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant are still urged to exercise caution when traveling to the Wynwood area), this latest development highlights that Florida officials are doing an impressive job coping with Zika—but they cannot finish the job without adequate funding from Congress.
The reduced risk in Wynwood demonstrates Florida’s ability to rise to the occasion and protect its citizens and travelers. We are confident that state authorities are doing all they can to reduce the risk in the 4.5-square-mile transmission zone in Miami Beach, and remain hopeful that the Zika threat will soon be a distant memory.
The CDC says that current Zika funding levels will run out at the end of September. Our government must show the global public that this problem is being actively addressed, and will be contained before serious damage is done. Congress must keep Zika elimination efforts going with adequate funding while there is still time to act.
As always, the U.S. travel community remains in close contact with state and federal public health experts, and will disseminate and adhere to their updated guidelines.