Miami-Dade County

Pregnant woman flees Miami over Zika

Miami Police Homeless Coordinator James Bernat gives a Zika prevention leaflet to a tourist in Wynwood earlier this month.
Miami Police Homeless Coordinator James Bernat gives a Zika prevention leaflet to a tourist in Wynwood earlier this month. jiglesias@elnuevoherald.com

For decades, refugees and immigrants have flocked to Miami. But now fears of Zika have caused one pregnant woman to flee from Miami, according to online magazine The New Tropic.

"The day the first locally contracted Zika cases were announced, I shut myself inside our home and cried," writes Christina Frigo in a powerful first-person piece for New Tropic, a Miami-centric news and feature site. Now eight months pregnant, Frigo and her husband, who live just north of Wynwood, the epicenter of Miami's Zika zone, are staying with her mother in the suburbs of Chicago.

Although Frigo initially brushed off her father's concerns in June, noting that all of Miami-Dade's cases were travel-related, her anxiety grew as news spread of local transmissions. She spent five days shut up in her house, when her husband, who works inside the Department of Health's zone of local infections, suggested they consider leaving until she gave birth.

The Herald has reported on other women whose Zika fears have led them to install a battery of mosquito control devices or delay getting pregnant.

Although she feels lucky that she and her husband were able to leave, things have not been easy for Frigo in Chicago, where doctors have canceled appointments after seeing that she comes from the Zika affected zip code in Miami.

"It's hard not to feel let down by the healthcare system, the government and the city of Miami," Frigo writes. "All this puts pregnant women in affected areas in an extremely difficult and stressful situation."

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