New Zika transmission zone identified in Miami

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed local Zika transmission in a new one-square-mile area of Miami. Five Zika cases — involving two women and three men — have been linked to the new transmission zone. Three of the infected individuals live in the area and the two others either work in the area or have visited.

According to the Miami Herald, the new transmission site encompasses Miami's Little River neighborhood, which is now the second neighborhood in the city with active Zika transmission as mosquitoes in Miami Beach continue to carry the virus.

Little River is just blocks away from the Wynwood neighborhood — the first area in the U.S. where local Zika transmission was identified. Mosquito control efforts eradicated local Zika transmission in that area.

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Unlike Wynwood, Little River is primarily a residential zone, which is a cause for concern among Miami officials.

Miami Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, whose district includes Wynwood and the new zone in Little River, told the Herald he was "disappointed" by the announcement, adding that it confirmed his office's warnings to the community that residents should still take precautions against Zika even if they don't live in a designated transmission zone.

"We were all blindsided by this bit of information," he said, "and that's why it was always important for us to protect ourselves from the Zika virus the best we can without considering it's just within one area."

On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott (R) authorized an additional $7.4 million in state funding to Miami-Dade County to bolster mosquito control efforts in Miami. He says the state has yet to receive federal funding to help Zika-fighting efforts.

"Today's announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus," said Gov. Scott on Thursday. "It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don't need bureaucratic timelines — we need funding now."

According to the Florida Department of Health's Thursday update, there have been 1,021 cases of Zika reported in the state, 155 of which have been acquired locally.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
5 things to know about the evolution of Zika 
Federal agency funds development of drones to combat Zika 
Beyond microcephaly: 5 things to know about congenital Zika syndrome

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