Zika Transmission Zone in Wynwood Section Reduced as Florida Announces More Local Cases

Five new non-travel related cases of Zika were found in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Tuesday, even as most of the Wynwood section of Miami was removed from the area in which officials say the virus is being transmitted.

Scott said that, following testing from the Department of Health, just a half square mile remains in the Wynwood zone. Four of the new cases were in Wynwood and one in Pinellas County, the first in the state outside Miami-Dade. 

"While this investigation is ongoing, DOH still believes that ongoing active transmissions are only occurring in the two previously identified areas in Wynwood and Miami Beach," Scott said at a meeting in Clearwater. "As we've seen in Wynwood, our aggressive mosquito control and public education efforts are working which is why DOH was able to clear a significant area in Wynwood today."

In all, the Department of Health has cleared about 76 blocks of Wynwood, a neighborhood that draws arts lovers from across the world to its galleries and large outdoor murals. 

The five new findings bring the total number of locally transmitted cases in Florida to 42 since the outbreak began earlier this summer.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that one more scheduled spraying is planned in the area this Saturday.

Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to warn pregnant women not to travel to the affected areas. Pregnant women who live in the affected areas should be tested for the virus. 

On Tuesday, the CDC added a travel notice for the Bahamas. Other countries on the list include Cape Verde, Mexico, and ones in Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands. 

Scott said that Florida was committed to ensuring that every county had the resources it needed to fight the virus and was ready to assist residents and visitors.

Miami-Dade and Pinellas counties sprayed and took other abatement steps against the mosquitos responsible for transmitting Zika, Aedes aegypti.

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