Zika virus strikes Miami Beach with first 5 local infections

Florida Governor Rick Scott confirmed on Friday the first five probable cases of Zika virus contracted in Miami Beach — three men and two women — which take Florida’s number of locally infected Zika victims to 36.

At a press conference in Miami, Scott confirmed that five people, including three tourists, were infected with the mosquito-transmitted virus in Miami Beach, but that “the county has already begun an aggressive mosquito-eradication plan that includes additional spraying in Miami Beach”.

The five native cases of Zika contagion in Miami Beach occurred, according to the Florida Health Department, in a very small area of just 1 1/2 miles (2.4 kilometers) in diameter, Efe news reported.

Scott noted that the work of eradicating Zika from the art district of Wynwood, where the first outbreak in Miami was detected, is proving successful, and now another three areas to the northeast have been cleansed and there is no evidence of active transmission.

Zika, which has extended through a large part of Latin America and the Caribbean, can cause pregnant women to have babies with microcephalic deformity and neurological problems.

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