Miami Beach now the 2nd Site of Local Zika Virus Transmission in Florida

Miami Beach now the 2nd Site of Local Zika Virus Transmission in Florida
Science & Medicine

On August 19, Florida Governor Rick Scott said that officials have identified South Beach as the 2nd site of Zika transmission on the U.S. mainland. Scott said that 5 new Zika infections have been linked to an area that encompasses much of the neighborhood. [1]

His announcement comes just a day after his office confirmed that there weren’t any confirmed cases of the virus being contracted on Miami Beach.

Of the 5 new cases, 2 people live in South Florida, 1 lives in New York, 1 lives in Texas, and 1 person lives in Taiwan. The 3 male and 2 female individuals were all visiting Miami Beach when they became infected.

Scott said:

“The Florida Department of Health believes that all active transmissions of this virus are only occurring in the areas of Miami Beach between 8th and 28th Streets. This area is just under 1.5 miles.

To date, we have two very small areas of Miami-Dade County where we believe local transmissions are occurring.”

Scott has directed the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the health department to assist hotels, restaurants, and attractions in Miami-Dade County in preventing the Zika virus from spreading, and in educating the public.

The number of confirmed Zika cases transmitted locally in Florida is now 36. In total, Florida has recorded 557 total infections, including 63 in pregnant women. Thirty-three of those cases reportedly stem from local transmission within the state, with all except for seven having been linked to the Wynwood area. [2]

Read: CDC Issues First Zika-Related Travel Advisory in the U.S.

In light of the most recent reports, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida health officials are now recommending the following:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to the designated area of Miami Beach, in addition to the Wynwood neighborhood, located just north of Miami, as local transmission of the Zika virus has been confirmed in both areas.
  • Pregnant women and their partners who live in or must travel to these areas should be aware of active Zika virus transmission and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Women and men who live in or have traveled to Miami Beach or Wynwood since July 14 should be aware of active Zika transmission; pregnant women should visit their doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested for the virus; and people who have a pregnant sex partner should consistently and correctly use condoms to prevent infection during sex, or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women and their sexual partners who are concerned about being exposed to Zika may also consider delaying nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. [1]

Read: Pesticides Sprayed to Fight Zika may be More Harmful than Zika

Miami City Manager Jimmy Morales said:

“Our strategy has been and will continue to be focusing on the elimination of potential breeding sites and educating our residents and businesses on what they need to do.

We are also working with the county and they are also inspecting and as needed mitigating through techniques like clean ups, larvicides and fogging.” [2]

Sources:

[1] CBS Miami

[2] Fox News