Florida triples Zika transmission area as new cases reported
MIAMI Florida health officials are tripling the local transmission area in Miami Beach, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday evening.
The zone, which had been limited primarily to South Beach, has expanded north, bringing the total affected area to around 4.5 square miles, a news release from the governor’s office said.
The Department of Health has identified two males and three females in the expanded area who all experienced symptoms within one month of each other. All five are non-travel related cases. Aggressive mosquito control efforts, including larviciding, have already taken place in this area and these efforts will continue by the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District.
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Scott also announced plans to lift the local transmission zone in the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood on Monday. He cited aggressive mosquito control measures, outreach to the community, education efforts and the vigilant actions of the area’s residents and businesses.
Also on Friday, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said it had confirmed a fifth Zika-positive mosquito pool in the original 1.5-square-mile transmission area of Miami Beach, though the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control team reported that the numbers of mosquitoes found in traps in Miami Beach have decreased since aggressive pesticide spraying began.
Earlier Friday, Scott authorized an additional $ 10 million in state funds for Zika response. That money will go to mosquito control, enhanced laboratory capacity and Zika kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Scott used his emergency powers in June to authorize $ 26.2 million for Zika response. He met with top Republicans this week on Zika funding from Washington, but he said Friday that Florida “cannot wait on federal action any longer.”
Congressional aides told The Associated Press on Thursday that an impasse over Zika funding for clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood was nearing an end, but the measure won’t be unveiled until next week.
The total number of non-travel related cases associated with the expanded impacted area on Miami Beach is 35, and the total number of non-travel related cases in Florida is 93.