In early August, Wynwood made headlines for the presence of active Zika transmissions. Since then, the state and county have diligently combated the spread of the virus through public-awareness campaigns, clearing standing water and aerial spraying insecticides.
The results are clear: Wynwood is now free of Zika transmissions, allowing the neighborhood to move forward without this looming health threat.
Miami Beach hasn’t been as fortunate. The area in which Zika is believed to exist nearly tripled in size over the weekend as the number of locally transmitted cases rose to 35. Eliminating Zika in Miami Beach will require continued action, including aerial spraying to destroy the mosquito population.
The science surrounding the harmful health effects of Zika is convincing. Several studies — by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and researchers in South America and Europe — have found a direct link between Zika and birth defects.
The science around potential solutions to Zika transmission is equally conclusive. The only way to rid our community of Zika is by breaking the chain of active transmissions originating with mosquitoes, and the only way to eliminate harmful mosquitoes is through the use of small concentrations of insecticides in accordance with federal regulations.
Skepticism about the potential effects of insecticides on our health and environment is warranted. However, members of the science community overwhelmingly agree that targeted spraying is preferable to allowing the Zika threat to spiral out of control.
Effective governing is about making responsible decisions after listening to experts and weighing all options. With Miami Beach’s quality of life and economy in the balance, the state and county must follow the Wynwood playbook by using all available methods to eliminate Zika.
commissioner, Miami Beach