Sources: Zika Is Spreading in Miami Beach

Feds may advise against travel to entire county
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2016 5:34 AM CDT
Sources: Zika Is Spreading in Miami Beach
"I can tell you this, I wouldn't want to be a mosquito on Miami Beach," the mayor says.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

In a development that will alarm Florida tourist authorities as well as pregnant women, sources tell multiple news outlets that mosquitoes are spreading Zika in Miami Beach. A health official tells the New York Times that a cluster of cases probably spread by mosquitoes has been found in the city, which is separated by water from Miami itself. The official says authorities are considering telling pregnant women to avoid the area—and possibly all of Miami-Dade County. So far, the state health department says only that two new non-travel-related cases have been detected outside the 1-square-mile "Zika zone" in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood where the first mosquito transmissions of the virus in the US have been detected, the Miami Herald reports.

Miami Beach's city manager told commissioners that the two cases are a tourist who visited about two weeks ago and a resident, according to an email obtained by NBC 6. Mayor Philip Levine, however, told reporters Thursday night that there is no cluster of cases. "There is no epidemic, there is no outbreak of Zika on Miami Beach, there are two unconfirmed cases, the county says and the health department says, but they have not been confirmed for Miami Beach," he said, adding that the city has stepped up its war on mosquitoes. "I can tell you this, I wouldn't want to be a mosquito on Miami Beach," he said. (Experts fear that Louisiana's floods could end up spreading Zika.)

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