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Monday, September 19, 2016

Rick Scott declares Miami's Wynwood neighborhood Zika-free

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 2:41 PM

  • Photo by James Gathany of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
After being catapulted into the national spotlight following reports of a local transmission, Miami's Wynwood neighborhood is Zika-free, according to Gov. Rick Scott. 

Scott says in a press release that lifting the zone on Wynwood follows a 45-day period with no evidence of active transmission by mosquitoes of the Zika virus, which can cause cause severe birth defects and neurological disorders in fetuses. In his statements, Scott calls out Congress for not passing a funding bill to help fight Zika and adds that the state is allotting an additional $10 million in funds to prevent and prepare against the virus.

"Over the past few weeks, Floridians have worked together to prevent the spread of mosquitoes, take proper precautions to protect one another, and support local businesses in Wynwood," Scott says in a statement. "We saw the success of this hard work each time we announced a reduction of the zone in Wynwood, and we see it clearly today now that the entire Wynwood zone has been lifted. This would not have been possible without aggressive mosquito control measures, outreach to the community, education efforts and the vigilant actions of the residents and businesses in Wynwood." 

But federal health officials are still cautioning pregnant women and their partners to "consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County," according to statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local infections have popped up in others parts of Miami-Dade County besides Wynwood. 

"We understand that this has been a difficult time for Wynwood residents and visitors,” says Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. "We’ve reached this point because of the tremendous progress with mosquito control in the affected area, including the combination of aerial application of the larvicide Bti and the adulticide Naled, and rigorous investigation of possible Zika infections by Florida health officials. Still, we encourage people not to let down their guard." 

Florida currently has 93 cases of locally acquired Zika. Combined with travel-acquired Zika infections, the total number of cases in the state is over 800. 

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