Florida health officials on Monday reported six more mosquito-borne Zika infections in Miami-Dade County, including two cases linked to Miami Beach and one involving an out-of-state resident likely exposed to the virus in Wynwood in July.
The other three local infections are under investigation to determine where exposure to the virus occurred, according to the Florida Department of Health, whose epidemiologists are conducting 10 investigations in Miami-Dade, including one in Miami Beach, where officials have identified active spread of Zika by mosquitoes in a 4.5-square-mile area covering most of South Beach and Middle Beach.
County officials have reported finding mosquitoes that tested positive for Zika at seven different locations in Miami Beach since late August, indicating that the virus is well-established in the affected areas.
Because the person in the Wynwood case confirmed Monday was symptomatic in July, Florida health officials said it does not affect the state’s Sept. 19 declaration that no new cases of the virus had been recorded in the Miami neighborhood during the prior 45 days — leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift a travel advisory warning pregnant women to avoid the area.
The health department has refused to disclose the nine locations in Miami-Dade where epidemiologists are investigating other mosquito-borne Zika cases. According to CDC guidance, “a starting point” for health officials to identify an area of local transmission is two or more infections (not related to travel or sex) among people who do not share the same household, occurring within a one-mile diameter in two or more weeks.
Mara Gambineri, a health department spokeswoman, said in an email that the agency will notify the public when a new area of transmission is identified.
“Many times,” she said, “a case turns out to be a single, isolated incident with no additional infections and no indication of active transmission.”
A total of 993 Zika infections have been confirmed in Florida this year, with 165 mosquito-borne cases and 824 travel-related cases, including 103 pregnant women. An additional four cases are labeled “undetermined” after health department investigators failed to identify the area of exposure.
Zika cases reported in Florida as of Oct. 10
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 infections
Source: Florida Department of Health