Florida Zika update: Miami Beach transmission zone expands, Wynwood makes progress in mosquito control

On Sept. 16, the Florida Department of Health expanded the area of active local Zika transmission in Miami Beach after the detection of five cases of Zika in an area outside of the previous transmission zone borders. On Monday, the CDC updated its travel guidance for the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood — where local transmission of the virus was first detected — in the wake of successful mosquito control efforts.

The new travel advisory for the Wynwood neighborhood states that pregnant women and their sexual partners coming to the neighborhood should take precautions against mosquitoes and continue to adhere to the agency's recommendation regarding sexual transmission. The previous travel advisory suggested women who were pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should avoid traveling to the neighborhood entirely.

"We understand that this has been a difficult time for Wynwood residents and visitors," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD. "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."

The use of aerial spraying of the insecticide Naled has encountered pushback from Miami Beach residents due to the toxicity of the substance.

"Naled ... can essentially kill anything," Tanjim Hossain, a doctoral research fellow in Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Miami, told CBS News. "When a droplet of the insecticide touches a mosquito, it kills the mosquito pretty much instantaneously."

As of Sept. 16, there have been 79 locally transmitted Zika infections in Florida recorded by the state health department. When factoring in travel-associated cases, there have been 86 pregnant women infected with Zika.

On Sept. 16, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) praised the aggressive mosquito control campaign in Wynwood and again rebuked congress for their failure to pass emergency funding to combat Zika.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
New science proves Zika causes microcephaly 
7 CDC techs head to Florida to assist with backlog of Zika tests 
Obama hopeful Zika funds will be passed before month's end

 

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