TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Tonight, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed through its on-going investigation that local transmission of Zika is occurring in an expanded area of Miami Beach. DOH is expanding the area of local transmission in Miami Beach from 8th Street to 63rd Street. The total area where DOH believes active transmission of the Zika virus is occurring is around 4.5 square miles (see map below). DOH has identified five people, two males and three females, in the expanded area who all experienced symptoms within one month of each other. One of these cases has already been announced by DOH earlier this week and was under a normal investigation process. The investigations of the other four were completed today. All five individuals are non-travel related cases. Aggressive mosquito control efforts, including larviciding, have already taken place in this area and these efforts will continue by the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control District. The total number of non-travel related cases associated with this expanded impacted area on Miami Beach is 35 and the total number of non-travel related cases in Florida is 93 (this includes people who live outside of Florida and contracted Zika in our state).

Governor Rick Scott said, “While we’ve learned that we’re expanding the impacted area in Miami Beach, the good news is that we expect to lift the zone in Wynwood on Monday because of our aggressive mosquito control measures, outreach to the community, education efforts and the vigilant actions of the residents and businesses in Wynwood. The expansion of the Miami Beach area where local transmission is occurring highlights the need for continued aggressive mosquito control measures and for Congress to immediately approve federal funding to combat Zika. I went to Washington this week to meet with Congressional leaders and urge them to immediately provide funding for this national crisis. Every minute that passes that Congress doesn’t approve funding means more time is lost from researching this virus to find a vaccine to help pregnant women and their developing babies.

“Due to the inaction by Congress, I authorized an additional $10 million in state funds today to continue fighting Zika. I am also continuing to call on Congress to hold a field hearing in Miami on Zika preparedness and prevention by October 1. I know many members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation are fighting for Zika funding and it is critically important that members come to Miami and hear directly from those who are on the frontlines of batting this virus.

“Following today’s news, I am asking the CDC to provide Florida with an additional epidemiologist to support DOH’s efforts to combat and contain Zika and host a call with community leaders and clinicians in Miami Beach to answer questions and provide the latest guidance on Zika. In August, I asked the CDC to send additional lab support to Florida and while they have provided some resources, we need much more. That is why earlier this week I asked the CDC for more lab support. Additionally, I am renewing my call to the Obama Administration to provide 10,000 Zika Prevention Kits to protect pregnant women and a detailed plan on how they would like us to work with FEMA now that Zika is mosquito-borne in our state. We have continued to call on the CDC to quickly respond to these requests, and pregnant women who are most at-risk for the Zika virus deserve to have these requests immediately fulfilled.”

“Everything we are doing to combat this virus is to protect pregnant women. As a father and a grandfather, I cannot imagine the challenges a child would have being born with microcephaly. Everyone has to take precautions by dumping standing water and wearing bug spray so we can protect pregnant women and their growing babies. It is up to all of us to urgently work to combat Zika.”

 

Following today’s news, the Governor made the following new requests to the CDC:

  • Provide Florida with an additional epidemiologist to support DOH’s efforts to combat and contain Zika; and
  • Host a call with community leaders and clinicians in Miami Beach to answer questions and provide the latest information and guidance on Zika.

The Governor also renewed the following requests, which have yet to be fulfilled by the federal government:

  • Additional lab support staff (Governor Scott requested September 14, 2016).
  • 10,000 Zika Prevention Kits, which are essential to protecting pregnant women (Governor Scott requested August 19, 2016).
  • A detailed plan from the Obama Administration on how they would like Florida to work with FEMA on how federal resources will be allocated to states now that this has become mosquito-borne in Florida. (Initially requested June 1; Requested again August 19, 2016).

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