Officials Call Miami Neighborhood 'Zika Safe' | NECN
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Officials Call Miami Neighborhood 'Zika Safe'

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    Once the center of nationwide concern over the possible spread of Zika, the Wynwood section of Miami-Dade County is being declared safe by state and local officials. (Published Monday, Sept. 19, 2016)

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted a warning for pregnant women to stay out of Wynwood altogether, but continued to caution them about traveling to the city and surrounding areas out of concerns for catching the virus, which can cause serious birth defects. In nearby Miami Beach, health officials have broadened their declared zone of active local transmission.
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted a warning for pregnant women to stay out of Wynwood altogether, but continued to caution them about traveling to the city and surrounding areas out of concerns for catching the virus, which can cause serious birth defects. 

    The announcement came after a Monday morning press conference where Gov. Rick Scott was joined by City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, declaring that the Wynwood area north of Downtown Miami has not had a new case of the virus detected.

    "We had an issue, everybody took it seriously, and we resolved it," Scott said.

    Scott and CDC officials attributed the drop-off in infections in Wynwood to aggressive aerial spraying with naled, an insecticide that targets adult mosquitoes, and street-level spraying with another pesticide that kills mosquito larvae.

    Scott said residents and business owners who kept their properties clear of standing water also helped.

    Gimenez did say that spraying to combat the virus would continue in the Wynwood area — but no more flights will be done to drop pesticide on the area.

    Scott continued his criticism of the federal government, who continue to disagree over funding to help Florida fight the virus. He also said the state has asked for more kits to help test pregnant women for Zika.

    Officials also said that a "Dine Out Wynwood Day" would be held on September 30th to help businesses in the area that have been hurt during the crisis.

    Scott's news comes just days after authorities expanded a local transmission area in nearby Miami Beach, which had seen their own outbreak of the virus in recent weeks.

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that the Department of Health was expanding the area of local transmission on Miami Beach from 8th Street to 63rd Street.

    Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health announced there were two new non-travel related Zika cases in Miami-Dade. One was in Miami Beach and the department is investigating where the other case occurred.

    Mayor Gimenez announced in a statement that local officials will continue "aggressive on-the-ground and truck spraying'' into next week in the entire affected area that still exists in Miami Beach. He said aerial spraying is not planned for the expanded area unless the CDC tells them to do so.

    Hundreds of people in the state have become infected with the virus that can cause severe birth defects. Most of those who have the virus caught it while traveling, but 85 cases have not been travel related.

    The governor on Friday authorized spending an additional $10 million in state funds for Zika response.