Business owners split on Zika threat to Miami Beach economy
Florida health officials on Wednesday reported three more mosquito-borne Zika infections in Miami Beach and three new travel-related cases — including one each in Clay, Miami-Dade and Orange counties — raising the total to 986 people statewide who have contracted the virus this year.
Most of Florida’s local infections have occurred in Miami-Dade, which is the only place in the nation identified as having an active outbreak of Zika within a 4.5-square-mile section of Miami Beach between Eighth and 63rd Streets from the ocean to the bay.
But Miami Beach is not the only place in the county where residents have reported contacting Zika from mosquitoes. State health officials are investigating at least nine other local Zika infections in Miami-Dade where they have yet to determine the area of exposure to the virus.
According to the health department, at least 59 people have contacted Zika in Miami Beach this year. An additional 33 people were infected in a one-square-mile section of Wynwood, which state officials declared to be free of mosquito-borne spread of the virus on Sept. 19 after 45 consecutive days of no new cases.
The most recent local Zika infection in Miami Beach occurred in the expanded zone between 28th and 63rd Streets from the ocean to the bay, with symptoms beginning on Sept. 27, said Mara Gambineri, a health department spokeswoman.
If no new Zika cases are confirmed in the zone by Nov. 11, then health officials will lift a travel advisory warning all pregnant women and those planning to conceive, as well as their partners, to avoid the area.
Additional mosquito-borne Zika infections have been reported in Broward, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties.
Zika cases reported in Florida as of Oct. 5
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