MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials are informing those most vulnerable to the Zika virus to be tested in an effort to protect themselves in South Florida.

Crews continue to spray the area from the air and on the ground, but one of the biggest concerns are the effects the virus can have on pregnant women since the virus has been linked to birth defects seen among babies in South America.

The Department of Health has since requested pregnant women who live or have traveled to the Wynwood neighborhood to get tested for the virus, whether they are showing symptoms or not.

Juliana Duque who works at the Borinquen Medical Centers of Miami-Dade, located in the area where Zika has been spreading, encourages women to take the tests. “We need to realize how advanced we are and what great support we have, how vulnerable we can be,” she said. “You are at risk, things can happen. Even though you do not have the symptoms, you could be at risk, and you need to be tested.”

The Borinquen Medical Center have tested hundreds of pregnant women and have been handing out bug spray and pamphlets to patients, but according to Duque, no pregnant women have tested positive.

Wynwood resident, Gabriella Acevedo is trying to be cautious. “I’m coming from my appointment, and I’m just going to stay home and try not to even go outside,” she said.

Outside the medical center, more pregnant women who were visiting the clinic said they felt nervous about their unborn children.

Acevedo is nearly full-term and is concerned for her baby. “I’m going to put the A.C. on blast and try not to go outside,” she said. “I’ve been bitten by mosquitoes probably two weeks ago, but I don’t feel sick. I haven’t been tested, nothing. I don’t know. It’s just really stressful to me.”

Another woman told 7News that she is making an emergency appointment because she is scared about the virus.

According to the Borinquen Medical Center, test results take as many as seven days.

A travel advisory urging pregnant women to stay away from the Wynwood area of Miami is still in place.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox