The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday (October 13) announced that Zika virus has been found actively spreading in an area near Miami, where health officials confirmed five new cases of infection.
Weeks earlier, the nearby Wynwood neighborhood was cleared of the virus, but a section of Miami Beach remains an area of active transmission. The CDC reiterated its advice that pregnant women consider avoiding travel to Miami-Dade County.
The newly identified zone occupies about one square mile to the north of Miami. Three of the new cases are in individuals who live in the area, while the other two individuals work or visit the area. Around 1,020 Zika cases have been identified in Florida, STAT News reported, but the majority of those cases are in individuals who caught the virus travelling outside the country.
The onset of cooler weather should help lower the risk of mosquito-borne transmission, but “we’re not yet at the end of mosquito season, so we might continue to see local transmission going on for a little while yet,” Tom Skinner, a spokesperson for the CDC, told STAT News.
“We have seen that aggressive mosquito control efforts have worked in areas like Wynwood and we hope the county also aggressively sprays in this area,” Florida Governer Rick Scott said in a statement.
Scott stressed the need to mobilize government resources for keeping Zika under control. “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.”