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Friday, October 14, 2016

Another Zika zone identified in Miami-Dade County

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 11:05 AM

  • Photo via turkletom/Flickr
Mosquitoes are transmitting the Zika virus in a second area of Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health announced Thursday. State officials confirmed five people, two women and three men, were infected with the virus in a one-square-mile area in Miami's Little River neighborhood. Three of the people live in the area, while the other two visited or work in the neighborhood, health officials said.

The Little River zone has been identified along with a 4.5-square-mile zone in Miami Beach as active areas of local transmission, with health officials warning pregnant women to avoid the zones because the disease can cause severe birth defects. State officials previously closed out a transmission zone in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood when they determined there were no new cases.

Thursday's announcement came as the state's total of Zika cases rose to 1,021, including 736 travel-related incidents where Zika was acquired outside the state. Five new travel-related cases of Zika were reported Thursday with individual cases in Hillsborough, Orange and Pinellas counties and two cases involving pregnant women. The department does not identify the locations of pregnant women who get infected.

The total of Florida-acquired cases has risen to 155, with two new cases reported Thursday, including one in the Little River neighborhood and one in Broward County. There are 106 cases involving pregnant women, 19 related to non-Floridians and five undetermined origin cases.

Gov. Rick Scott said the confirmation of another area in Miami where residents are being exposed to the disease "underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus." Scott noted it has been two weeks since Congress approved $1.1 billion in Zika funding.

"However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don't need bureaucratic timelines, we need funding now," Scott said. The governor has authorized $61.2 million in emergency state funding to combat Zika, with Miami-Dade County receiving $12.6 million.

"We have seen that aggressive mosquito control efforts have worked in areas like Wynwood and we hope the county also aggressively sprays in this area so we can limit the spread of this virus and protect pregnant women and their growing babies," Scott said.

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