With mosquito season approaching, Florida leaders work on new Zika plan: 7 things to know

As the rainy season in Florida promises to provide more hospitable conditions for Zika mosquitoes, local government officials are preparing for the possible return of active, mosquito-borne transmission in the state, according to the Miami Herald.

The Zika virus first arrived in Florida in January 2016 through travel-associated cases. In June 2016, the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood experienced the first cases of locally transmitted Zika in the United States. More than 280 people in the state would go on to locally acquire the mosquito-borne virus that year.

Here are seven things to know about Florida's new plan to fight Zika

1. During a roundtable discussion at the health department in Miami on Monday, Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott and local state and Miami officials met to discuss future efforts to combat Zika.

2. In 2016, the CDC deployed 78 staff workers to Florida and sent materials for approximately 25,000 Zika virus antibody tests. While the agency will continue to provide all states affected by Zika with funds to fight the virus, the effort to control the virus in Florida is largely a local one. Miami-Dade County, Fla., has spent about $25 million fighting Zika since 2016, $18 million of which was reimbursed by the state. During the roundtable, both Gov. Scott and Carlos A. Gimenez, R, mayor of Miami-Dade County, said more resources would be devoted to fighting Zika this year.

3. Gov. Scott and Mr. Gimenez specifically promised more resources for mosquito control, for public health labs and for medical care for infants and families affected by Zika, according to the Miami Herald.

4. Mr. Gimenez also said he'd like to pass legislation to encourage construction companies to develop mosquito control policies, as construction sites often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

5. Miami-Dade health officials also plan to add 42 workers to the department for mosquito control. The added manpower would boost the department's size to approximately 60 full-time inspectors, technicians, biologists and other employees.

6. Additionally, the state health department plans to expand its laboratory capacity for Zika testing and research, according to the Miami Herald.

7. "I urge all Floridians to remember to eliminate any standing water around your homes, businesses and communities and to wear bug spray to prevent mosquito bites," Gov. Scott said in a public statement after the roundtable. "It is also important to protect yourself if you travel outside of Florida to an area with Zika virus. Last year, our aggressive actions helped lift the previous Zika zones in Wynwood, Little River and Miami Beach. This year, we stand ready to once again do all we can to protect Florida's families, visitors and communities."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
SLU researchers predict Zika hotspots in US 
Miami-Dade sees new locally acquired case of Zika 
WHO: Zika is still a threat

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