Aerial Spraying for Zika in Miami Beach Delayed 1 Day

Aerial spraying of Miami Beach where locally-acquired cases of Zika have been confirmed has been delayed for at a least a day, officials said Wednesday.

The spraying, which was scheduled to begin around 5 a.m. Thursday in the 1.5-square mile infection zone, has instead been postponed until 5 a.m. Friday, weather permitting.

The decision was made during an emergency workshop in the City of Miami Beach, where officials asked for more time to prepare residents for the spraying.

Spraying will also be done on Sunday and the following two weekends, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.

City of Miami Beach
Aerial spraying zone in Miami Beach

There have been 56 non-travel related Zika cases in Florida, many of them in Miami-Dade's "Zika zones" in Wynwood and Miami Beach, according to the Florida Department of Health. Additionally, some 577 travel-related Zika cases have been reported throughout Florida.

The proposal to spray South Beach had many residents at Wednesday's workshop irate and some scared over the insecticide to be used, Naled.

"It is very clear that Naled is a neurotoxin that does pose affects to human beings," resident Brandon Burke said. "It is killing off the bee population, butterflies, frogs, the bats."

Wynwood resident Evo Love said recent aerial spraying in her neighborhood made her sick.

"I'm not a scientist, I'm not a doctor, but I know that when I go in my backyard and my tongue is shaking for four hours and I am ready to rush myself to the emergency, something in that chemical is not right," Love said.

Experts from the CDC and the State Department of Health recommend the aerial spraying and consider Naled safe.

Miami Beach resident and pest control expert Andrew Burger said he's for the spraying.

"What the county has done in Wynwood was the most effective way to eliminate the problem," he said. "Here in Miami Beach where I am a resident similar action needs to be taken."

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