Zika expert: "DEET should be Miami's new perfume"

MIAMI -- On Tuesday, health officials reported a 15th case of Zika virus in south Florida, apparently transmitted by mosquitoes. But this one was outside the so-called "Zika zone" in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

Zika can cause severe birth defects, and a major effort is underway to protect women who are expecting.

"Women are scared to death right now," said 36-year-old Jessica Ardente.

Ardente is an expectant mother and a nurse practitioner.

"That makes it worse because you know what's out there in the news, but you also know the medical ramifications that can happen," she said.

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Jessica Ardente.

CBS News

Not to mention, she lives in the Zika zone.

"Right smack dab in the middle of it," she said.

Following CDC recommendations, she gave blood and urine samples on Monday to test for the presence of Zika virus. Ardente is due in January.

"At this point, we are not telling women that there is a safe trimester," said Dr. Christine Curry of the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, and Ardente's OBGYN.

Dr. Curry is monitoring 12 pregnant women believed to have contracted Zika while traveling.

"A year ago there wasn't a conversation about it, and now it's something that's effecting and infecting most of our hemisphere," she said. "And so it's really changing the reproductive narrative for women all over."

Dr. Matthew DeGennaro is a mosquito geneticist, who believes Zika will spread to other pockets of Miami Dade county.

"The way that will happen is not by the spread of mosquitoes themselves, but by the movement of infected people," he said.

The CDC is encouraging everyone living in areas where there are mosquitoes that can carry Zika to protect themselves by covering up and using repellent with DEET.

"DEET should be Miami's new perfume," said Dr. DeGennaro.

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Dr. Matthew DeGennaro.

CBS News

Tuesday, in the Zika zone, Miami police handed out free repellent to homeless people.

Ardente is spending less time outdoors, awaiting the outcome of her Zika test.

How long will it take to get the results? Seven to ten days, Ardente said.

"I would love to know to tomorrow," she said, "but it's not going to happen."

Inside the Zika zone, business owners are becoming concerned about what the spread of the virus is going to do to their bottom line. Wednesday morning, for the first time this year, crews will start aerial spraying of repellent in a 10 square mile area around the Zika zone.