Health Care

Zika aerial spraying in Miami delayed by stormy weather

Fighting Zika on the streets

As Miami-Dade mosquito inspectors continue to spray the Zika infested areas of Wynwood, Miami Police also lent a hand on Tuesday, passing out mosquito spray to homeless people in the area.
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As Miami-Dade mosquito inspectors continue to spray the Zika infested areas of Wynwood, Miami Police also lent a hand on Tuesday, passing out mosquito spray to homeless people in the area.

Heavy storms washed out the planned Wednesday morning aerial spraying of the central Miami-Dade area pegged as the center of local Zika transmissions.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, in a statement, said spraying with pesticides intended to kill both adults and larval mosquitoes is still in the works for a 10-square-mile area around the Wynwood community where most locally acquired cases of the virus have been detected.

“Weather conditions did not allow us to move forward with the spraying as tentatively scheduled for this morning,’’ the mayor said. “We will make another attempt tonight or tomorrow morning, weather permitting, and will keep informing our residents on the County's continued mosquito-control efforts.”

The statement said that the pesticides have been approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Gimenez also repeated admonishments to drain standing water, wear mosquito repellent and cover up when outside in the early morning and evening, when mosquitos proliferate.

Florida health officials said a one-square-mile neighborhood north of downtown — around Wynwood — remains the only area in the state with active, ongoing Zika transmission by mosquitoes. But the new local infection indicates that mosquitoes are spreading the disease beyond this isolated district.

“We are investigating that carefully,” said Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health said late Tuesday, “and if we do identify another area of local transmission, we will put out an advisory.”

The new case raises the number of locally transmitted Zika infections in Florida to 15 people, including 13 in Miami-Dade and two in Broward. Health officials also reported three new travel-related Zika infections in Miami-Dade on Tuesday, raising the statewide total to 336 people who acquired the disease abroad.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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