TALLAHASSEE, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Today, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) confirmed that they have detected Zika in three mosquito samples in a small area of Miami Beach within the current zone of local transmission. (See map below for zone of active transmission in Miami Beach.) More than 42,400 mosquitoes have been tested across the state, and this is the only location where mosquitoes have tested positive in Florida. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) still believes ongoing active transmission is only occurring within the two small identified areas in Miami-Dade County- a less than 1.5 square mile area in Miami Beach and a half a mile area in Wynwood.
Governor Scott said, “Today, we learned of the first mosquitoes that have tested positive for the Zika virus in our state. DACS has only found three mosquito samples out of the more than 42,400 individual mosquitoes that have been tested across the state. These mosquitoes were trapped in the small area in Miami Beach where we believe local transmission has been occurring. The CDC is performing an additional test to verify that this is Zika and to identify the strain of the virus.
“Following this news, I have directed DOH to aggressively expand testing and outreach efforts in the areas around the traps that caught the positive mosquitoes. DOH has been on the ground since the first confirmed case of non-travel related Zika in Miami Beach, and they will continue to go door-to-door to educate residents on how to best protect their families and homes from mosquitoes. DBPR has also provided more than 700 hotels and restaurants in Miami Beach with educational materials on Zika prevention and preparedness as well as contact information to receive no cost mosquito spraying. While DOH has already been delivering helpful resources like bug spray and Zika prevention kits to pregnant women in the area, today I directed them to begin working with Florida international airports to voluntarily provide bug repellant for travelers returning from countries that are experiencing outbreaks of the Zika virus.
“The CDC has recommended aerial spraying on Miami Beach via helicopter, and we have seen the effectiveness of aerial spraying in the Wynwood area. DOH has made available resources to Miami-Dade County to immediately conduct aerial spraying in Miami Beach. I also directed DOH to work with the commercial pest control companies they have already sent to the Miami Beach area to further increase spraying and abatement efforts.
“While DACS will continue to work with local mosquito control to spray for mosquitoes, everyone must do their part by wearing bug repellent and dumping standing water- no matter how small. These efforts helped us clear almost the entire perimeter of the original zone in Wynwood where we now have 76 total blocks with no evidence of ongoing active transmission. We have also gone almost 30 days since the last case of Zika infection in the remaining Wynwood area, which is great news. The Wynwood community has done an incredible job of working together to prevent the spread of this virus and serves as an example of how important it is to be proactive and dump standing water, especially as our state is preparing for Hurricane Hermine. We must all continue to stay vigilant in the fight against the Zika virus so we can keep Florida’s communities, families and visitors safe.”
Based on today’s announcement from DACS, the Governor has directed DOH to begin the following new activities to protect residents and visitors from Zika:
- DOH will begin working with Florida international airports to provide bug repellant for travelers returning from countries that are experiencing outbreaks of the Zika virus. Each airport will decide how to ensure bug repellent is made available for travelers.
- DOH will intensify ongoing outreach efforts in Miami Beach and will expand testing in the areas around the traps that caught the positive mosquitoes. DOH has already been leading a targeted door-to-door campaign to test individuals for the Zika virus on Miami Beach.
- Per the CDC’s recommendation, DOH has made available resources to Miami-Dade County to immediately conduct aerial spraying in Miami Beach when the weather is favorable. Aerial spraying via helicopter has been recommended by the CDC and has been effective in the Wynwood area.
- DOH will work with contracted commercial pest control companies already in the Miami Beach area to further increase spraying, especially liquid larvicide spraying, and other abatement efforts to assist with local mosquito control.
STATE OF FLORIDA
(Original Wynwood perimeter included for reference. Smaller shaded area in Wynwood remains under investigation.)
(Original zone perimeter included for reference. Smaller shaded area in Wynwood remains under investigation.)