Three trapped mosquitoes tested positive for Zika in Miami Beach, Florida, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) on Thursday, September 1st. According to what Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a press release, “These mosquitoes were trapped in the small area in Miami Beach where we believe local transmission has been occurring. The CDC is performing an additional test to verify that this is Zika and to identify the strain of the virus.”
Health officials believe that bromeliads, which are a type of tropical plant, had to do with Zika being found in the U.S. There have now been 49 Zika infections that have originated in FL.
Officials in Miami Beach are fining people who have standing water outside their homes. They are also plucking the bromeliads out of the ground and they are asking Floridians to pull the plants out of the ground as well.
According to Scott in a news release, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has been going door-to-door to let residents know how to defend their homes from mosquitoes. The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) gave educational materials about the Zika virus and information about free mosquito spraying to over 700 restaurants and hotels in Miami Beach. The DOH has been giving Zika prevention kits and bug spray to pregnant women. As of September 1st, Scott instructed the DOH to give bug repellent to airports so that travelers who are returning from countries that are dealing with Zika virus outbreaks can get the bug spray.
Scott said he is following a recommendation from the CDC to make resources available to Miami-Dade County so that aerial spraying can be done in Miami Beach when weather permits. The CDC recommended aerial spraying by helicopter. This type of spraying was successful in the Wynwood region.
The DOH will be working with commercial pest control companies on a contract basis in order to spray in Miami Beach. The pest control companies will be focused on liquid larvicide spraying.
Over 42,400 mosquitoes in Florida were tested for the Zika virus thus far. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread Zika, are found in Florida for just about the whole year.