Local Zika transmission reported in 'Little Haiti' area of Miami-Dade County


At least five people have contracted Zika virus from mosquitoes in Miami's Little River neighborhood, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Thursday, identifying a one-square-mile zone where the disease is spreading - between Northwest 79th and 63rd Streets from Northwest 10th Avenue to North Miami Avenue.

Rates of Zika infection in Mexico have skyrocketed this year, spreading throughout regions hosting some of the country's most popular tourism destinations and in spite of a promise by the government to mount a "massive campaign" to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Zika has spread into another Florida neighborhood.

The US state of Florida said Thursday it has identified a new local transmission area of the Zika virus in Miami. The other two either work or have visited this area. The only state with more travel-related Zika cases is NY, with more than 850.

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker sprays around a school in the Wynwood area of Miami on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said yesterday, "Today's announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus".

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Florida remains the only US state with verified local transmission of the virus, which causes severe birth defects when pregnant women get it, and which can cause rare but often severe neurological effects.

"Florida's small case cluster is not considered widespread transmission", according to the state's Department of Health.

"Pregnant women and their sexual partners who are concerned about potential Zika virus exposure may also consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County", it added. The Florida Department of Health reported that so far five people- three men and two women- are infected in this area.

Mexico now has the fourth largest number of confirmed Zika infections in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the Pan American Health Organization. Additionally, the Zika infection can be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus.

To date there have been 228 confirmed cases of Zika in Texas and all are related to persons who were infected overseas, according to Chris Van Deusen, a spokesmen for the state's health service.

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/zika/index.html" target="_new" Zika and pregnancy. Majority are travel-related, but 155 non-travel related cases have been confirmed, according to the state's health department. We don't need bureaucratic timelines - we need funding now.