Florida health officials clear section of Miami’s Wynwood as clear of Zika-carrying mosquitos

A 10-block section of northwest Wynwood has been declared clear of Zika virus mosquitoes

A 10-block section of northwest Wynwood has been declared clear of Zika virus mosquitoes

Gov. Rick Scott took a bite Thursday out of the Wynwood section of Miami that researchers say is the source for the locally-contracted cases of Zika virus in Florida.

Scott said the state’s Health Department has determined that no local transmissions of the mosquito-borne illness have occurred in a 10-block area of Wynwood, although it looks like that won’t change much in terms of steps taken by the state.

“Even though this is good news, we are still aggressively spraying for mosquitos and testing residents,” Scott said.

“If we learn that we have to expand the zone again or add additional zones in the future, we will take all precautions to notify the public.”

Scott spent a portion of the day walking the streets in Wynwood, meeting with area business people.

With the state’s tourist industry facing a potential hit since the state reported 15 cases of Zika virus, apparently caused by bites from Wynwood mosquitoes, Scott has been trying to show he’s not alarmed by the outbreak.

Scott on Thursday also asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 10,000 more Zika prevention kits for pregnant women; and for guidance from the Obama administration on how to tailor the state’s request for additional Federal Emergency Management Agency funding.

Scott made a similar request June 1 to the Obama administration, anticipating that local transmission of the virus would come to Florida.

U.S. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, increased their call for Congress to return from summer recess and approve federal funding to fight the Zika virus.

Forty-one senators, including Florida’s Bill Nelson, signed onto the letter. They blame Republicans for failing to act on the public health threat.

“It is simply unacceptable that efforts to counter the spread of Zika and develop a vaccine are being held hostage by Republican partisanship,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congressional leaders should call both the Senate and the House back into session to pass a real and serious response to the burgeoning Zika crisis.”

The Obama administration requested $1.9 billion in February to blunt the Zika threat. But the Republican-led House and Senate have clashed over the funding amount, and the House’s approach of adding new politically charged provisions to the measure, including new limits on funding for Planned Parenthood.

In Florida, no new locally transmitted cases were reported Thursday by health officials. But two new travel-related cases were found in Miami-Dade County, bringing the state’s total of those affected to 393, including 55 pregnant women.

 

 

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