4 New Zika Cases Identified in Miami


Health officials have identified four new local cases of the Zika virus likely contracted in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday.

All four cases probably came from mosquito bites in the area, the only site of active transmission in the United States. The cases bring the total number of locally transmitted cases in South Florida to 21. Officials believe transmissions are still limited to a small area that includes the arts district and Midtown.

“All four of these cases are located in the same, small area of Wynwood that is less than one square mile,” Scott said in a statement.

The trendy neighborhood packed with warehouses and art galleries has been the epicenter of the local outbreak. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said most of the cases were likely contracted in an even smaller spot, about 500-foot radius from where the first cluster of cases was identified. But they have designated the one-square-mile zone at risk to account for the distance the Aedes aegypti mosquito can travel.

Businesses in Wynwood have been suffering as the flow of customers slowed down. The tax-funded Wynwood Business Improvement District held an emergency meeting Monday to call on local, state and federal governments to quicken efforts to clear their neighborhood of active infections.

On Tuesday, state health officials also confirmed the first travel-related cases of the virus in Monroe and Hernando counties. Altogether, 14 new travel cases were documented statewide, including four more in Miami-Dade, three in Orange County, one in Broward County and one in Lee County. Two involved pregnant women. There have been a total of 426 travel cases in Florida.

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SOURCE: Miami Herald, Jenny Staletovich