Florida Officials Announce New Zika Virus Zone Found
On Thursday Florida health officials announced that a new Zika zone has been discovered only weeks after a nearby neighborhood was cleared of the virus following aerial insect-pesticide spraying.
The new zone is about three miles north of Wynwood in Miami, which is where the first Zika outbreak was discovered. The Florida Department of Health reported that so far five people- three men and two women- are infected in this area. Of those five, three people are residents to the area while the other two visited or worked there.
This now accounts for the third area in Florida that the virus has been spread locally, though Wynwood is not considered an active site anymore. Miami Beach is the third area.
“We have had more than 1,000 cases of Zika [travel-related and local] in our state, and Miami-Dade County continues to be the only area with ongoing active transmissions,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.
The Zika virus causes mild illness to non-pregnant women and men. It is believed to cause birth defects and severe brain damage in babies born to women who are infected while pregnant.
On Thursday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to the latest setback in Florida saying pregnant women should avoid traveling to the new Zika zone and for that matter should consider post-poning any travel plans to the Miami-Dade area.
To get rid of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, that carries the virus, aerial spraying with insecticides naked and Bti (bacillus Thuringensis) dramatically reduced the mosquito population in the Wynwood area. The pesticides kill both the insect and its larvae.
Scott will continue to push for more funding to get the Zika virus under control in Florida.
“It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President (Barack) Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don’t need bureaucratic timelines. We need funding now,” said Scott.