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New Zika 'Hot Zone' Designated in Miami

New Zika 'Hot Zone' Designated in Miami

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By    |   Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:02 PM

Homegrown Zika has cropped up in a small neighborhood of Miami, making it the third place in Miami-Dade County to grapple with local transmission of the mosquito-born virus, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday.

The one-mile area is located in near a Miami neighborhood known as Little River. The zone runs from between Northwest 79th and Northwest 63rd streets and from Northwest 10th Avenue to North Miami Avenue.

The new zone was designated after Florida Department of Health confirmed that five people, including two women and three men, had contracted the virus from local mosquitos, Scott said in a statement.

The governor used the occasion to call for more funding to fight Zika, which is a potentially deadly virus because it can cause severe brain damage, a condition known as microcephaly, in unborn babies.

“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 Scott.

“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,” he added.

The area is Florida's third Zika hot zone, with all of the areas located in Miami-Dade County.

The other hot zone where local Zika is currently being transmitted is a 4.5 square mile area of Miami Beach, which covers most of South Beach and Middle Beach between Eight Street and 63rd Street, extending the length of the city from the ocean to Biscayne Bay.

The Wynwood neighborhood of Miami was the first hot zone to be designated, but that area was declared free of homegrown Zika last month.

Noting that the state has logged more than 1,000 cases of Zika, Scott added that he is requesting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to work directly with the Miami Dade Mosquito Control District to identify best practices for defeating Zika in this new area,” he said.

“We know every area is different and I hope the federal government will provide guidance to the county on how to protect residents and visitors,” Scott added.

As of Thursday, a total of 1,021 people in Florida have come down with the virus, which includes 155 homegrown Zika cases, state health officials said. Officials are also monitoring 106 women who were pregnant when infection occurred.

These totals include two more cases of homegrown Zika not included the governor’s announcement.

One occurred in the new area, and the other person infected lives in Broward County; the state is investigating to see where transmission occurred.

The state also logged five new travel related cases, one in Hillsborough, one in Orange, one in Pinellas counties, along with two more cases involving pregnant women.

This summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory this summer warning pregnant women against nonessential travel in Miami-Dade County.

The Zika virus can make anyone sick for up to a week with the following flu-like symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Rash.
  • Joint pain.
  • Red eyes.

There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, making prevention essential. Health experts recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed.
  • Use repellents to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Use air conditioning and window screens if possible.
  • Call your health care provider if you are at risk of infection.

Last month, Consumer Reports released new rankings of mosquito repellents that offer the best protection against Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the type that carry the Zika virus. They tested products containing deet, plantlike ingredients lemon eucalyptus and picaridin. The most effective products:

  • Sawyer Fisherman's Formula Picaridin.
  • Natrapel 8 Hour, with 20 percent picaridin.
  • Off! Deepwoods VIII, w/25 percent deet.
  • Repel Lemon Eucalyptus.

The magazine also recommended skipping products made with natural plant oils, such as California Baby Natural Bug Blend (a blend of citronella, lemongrass oil, cedar oil, and other ingredients) and EcoSmart Organic, (which includes geraniol, rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, and lemongrass oil).

Women who are pregnant or breast feeding can safely use deet, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535, according to the EPA.

Other tips for using insect repellents safely and effectively:

  1. Apply repellents sparingly, and only to exposed skin or clothing.
  2. Don’t apply repellents over cuts, wounds, irritated skin, or after shaving.
  3. When applying to your face, spray first on your hands, then rub in, avoiding your eyes and mouth.
  4. Don’t let young children apply repellents themselves
  5. Don’t use near food, and wash hands after application and before eating.
  6. At the end of the day, wash treated skin with soap and water, and wash treated clothing in a separate wash before wearing again.

The CDC advises people returning from travel to areas where Zika is present should continue to wear mosquito repellant for three weeks and refer to the agency’s published guidelines regarding sexual transmission of the virus.

 

 

 

 


 

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Health officials have designated a new area in Miami where local transmission of the Zika virus is underway.
Zika, US, Miami, Beach, Florida
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2016-02-13
Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:02 PM
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