No new local Zika cases were reported in Florida on Thursday but Gov. Rick Scott, who is scheduled to visit Miami Beach on Friday for a community meeting on the infectious disease, announced that he will travel to the nation’s capital to lobby for funding to fight the virus.
Florida’s health department reported 11 new travel related cases on Thursday, including three in Miami-Dade, two in Alachua, two in Orange, one in Duval, one in Monroe, one in Osceola and one in Polk counties. Health officials also corrected an accounting error: One travel-related case previously attributed to Miami-Dade was moved to Broward.
“It was one of those situations where someone lives in one county but works in another,” said Mara Gambineri, a spokeswoman.
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Statewide, a total of 647 people have contracted Zika, including 43 local cases transmitted by mosquitoes, 534 travel-related cases and 70 pregnant women in unidentified counties.
Scott is scheduled to visit Miami Beach’s Mondrian South Beach Hotel at 10:30 a.m. Friday for a community discussion on the Zika virus, which is spreading by mosquitoes in a 1.5-square-mile area in the heart of the resort city.
Scott also is scheduled to fly to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6 — the day Congress returns from a seven-week summer recess — to lobby for funding to fight the Zika virus.
“During Congress’s vacation, we have identified 43 cases of locally acquired Zika in four Florida counties,” Scott said in a written statement announcing the trip. “The Zika virus demands immediate federal action and I will impress upon our congressional members the urgency to protect our residents and visitors.”
Scott has repeatedly called on the federal government to help with Florida’s Zika response, most recently during a visit to Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood on Monday. Health officials identified a one-square-mile zone of Wynwood on July 29 as the first area in the continental United States with active transmission of Zika by mosquitoes.
Federal officials said they have responded to the governor’s requests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a press release this week noting that the agency has sent about $35 million for Zika prevention and emergency response, including money that can be used to buy items for Zika prevention kits.
In addition, the CDC has sent Florida 10,000 bottles of the insect repellent DEET. The federal agency also is providing lab testing support, and has shipped about 2,000 Zika lab tests, which is the number Florida officials said would allow them to be at full capacity for Zika testing.
After hearing Scott’s call this week for an additional 5,000 Zika antibody tests and 10,000 prevention kits, the CDC said it is sending another shipment that would give Florida health officials the ability to conduct 6,300 Zika antibody tests.
Zika cases reported in Florida as of Aug. 25
Number of Cases
Total cases not involving pregnant women
. . .
. . .
Cases involving pregnant women regardless of symptoms*
*Counties of pregnant women are not identified.
** Does not include local cases.
Source: Florida Department of Health