More Zika-infected mosquitoes have been captured in South Beach, Miami-Dade officials announced Tuesday, as the state health department also reported that the number of local infections occurring outside of the identified transmission 4.5-square-mile zone in Miami Beach had risen again.
The new batch of mosquitoes carrying Zika was retrieved on Sept. 23 from a trap at 1810 Jefferson Avenue — about two blocks from the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, where county officials found infected mosquitoes on Aug. 23. In total, county officials have found Zika mosquitoes at seven different locations in Miami Beach since late August.
Mosquitoes retrieved from the Jefferson Avenue site were tested for Zika by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the finding now must be confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county officials said.
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Prior to Sept. 28, Miami-Dade officials refused to identify addresses where they had captured the infected insects, citing a state statute that allows the information to be kept confidential but does not require secrecy. It took a Miami Herald lawsuit for Miami Beach residents to learn they were living beside Zika mosquitoes.
On Tuesday, county officials said they alerted nearby residents to their findings on Jefferson Avenue. Mosquito control workers also inspected the area for breeding sites, and sprayed insecticide within a 1/8-mile area surrounding the property, according to county officials.
As officials worked to stamp out Zika mosquitoes in Miami Beach, the Florida Department of Health reported six more local infections in Miami-Dade — two cases in Miami Beach and four cases requiring investigations to determine the area of exposure.
In addition, the health department reported six travel-related infections, with one in Hillsborough, one in Sarasota and four involving pregnant women. Florida does not identify the counties of residence for pregnant women with Zika.
State health officials said they are conducting 10 investigations into Zika cases in Miami-Dade, including in Miami Beach, where at least 57 people had acquired the virus from mosquitoes as of Tuesday. State health officials refused to identify any other areas in Miami-Dade where mosquito-borne cases are under investigation.
In total, Florida officials have reported 155 local infections this year. In addition, 821 Floridians, including 103 pregnant women, contracted the virus while traveling abroad, the health department reports. And four cases have been labeled “undetermined” after the health department's investigation failed to identify where the exposure occurred.
Though Florida remains the only state in the nation with a local outbreak of Zika, many Americans are following news of the virus, according to the September Kaiser Health Tracking Poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group that analyzes healthcare policy.
According to Kaiser’s telephone poll of 1,204 adults conducted Sept. 14-20, residents in southern states are taking greater precautions than other Americans to avoid Zika, such as removing standing water around their homes and wearing mosquito repellent.
Zika cases reported in Florida as of Oct. 4
Number of Cases
Total cases not involving pregnant women*
Cases involving pregnant women regardless of symptoms
* Counties of pregnant women not disclosed
** Does not include local cases
Source: Florida Department of Health