Governor lifts portion of Zika zone in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida Governor Rick Scott lifted a portion of the Zika active transmission zone, Tuesday afternoon.

The governor made a stop in Miami Beach to deliver the good news. The Zika zone in Miami Beach has shrunk after more than a month of active transmissions in the area.

According to Scott, the area from 28th Street to 63rd Street is no longer has any cases of the mosquito-borne virus, and thus is no longer a hot zone. Officials said it has been 45 days since an active case of the Zika virus was contracted there.

The area between 28th Street and Eighth Street remains an active transmission zone, and pregnant women and their partners are advised to stay away from that area.

Scott stopped by Roasters New York deli, Tuesday afternoon, to deliver the progress report. He credited the collaboration with the city and the Department of Health for working to eliminate standing water through code enforcements. They’ve also seen success with spraying, public education and free testing.

The state has committed $61 million towards fighting Zika in Florida, but there have been some issues with getting funding. However, Scott said, Tuesday, that he’s positive his relationship with the president-elect will make Zika funding easier.

“Donald Trump, the president-elect, is a good friend,” Scott said. “Mike Pence is a good friend. Reince Priebus is a good friend, so I’m optimistic that now I have somebody I can call that, if we have a problem such as making sure that we get the right funding, we can get a fast response, so I’m very optimistic. It starts Jan. 20. We’ll get things done quickly.”

Officials said the South Beach area remains in the “Zika zone,” but could be lifted by early December. Health officials are also working to contain the virus in a one square mile radius of Miami’s Little River area.

So far, a total of 139 locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus have been discovered in Florida, according to the CDC.

The latest Zika zone is located in the city of Miami and includes Little River, Little Haiti and Liberty City.

The first U.S. hot zone for locally transmitted cases of Zika was identified in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, in late July. It has since been declared free of the virus.

The mosquito-borne illness is especially dangerous for pregnant women and has been linked to serious birth defects. The CDC has issued a travel advisory for pregnant women to avoid the Zika hot Zones in Miami-Dade County.

If a mosquito carrying Zika does bite, it can take up to two weeks to cause symptoms like:

  • fever
  • headache
  • skin rash
  • joint pain
  • conjunctivitis, which causes red, irritated eyes

The State Surgeon General has activated a 24-hour Zika hotline in Florida to answer questions and concerns. That number is 855-622-6735.

Pregnant women can receive a free test at the Health District Center, located at 1350 N.W. 14th St. in Miami. For more information, call 305-324-2400.

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