Miami officials prepare for Zika concerns in midst of warmer months

MIAMI (WSVN) - As South Florida enters into spring, new worries and concerns about Zika are on the rise.

With the start of the rainy season, local leaders are preparing to keep Zika in check. “Hopefully we don’t have a zone all this year and never again,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Should Zika return, Scott is hopeful and ready to battle the virus. He hosted a round table with local leaders and focused on preparedness.

“We need the public to help,” said Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Alina Hudak. “Our message this year is: ‘Fight the bite, be our partner, drain and cover.'”

The county is working to launch a public awareness campaign to get locals involved in preventing Zika zones, like those we saw in 2016.

“Education, avoid the bite and then problem areas that we know are breeding mosquitos, we are going to tackle that much more aggressively,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Construction zones are a new area of concern, as well. The mayor is asking companies to be aware of any equipment or barriers that might hold standing water.

In addition to fighting the spread and the mosquito population, there is more help for those who may be exposed to the virus. “Increased lab capacity, we hired additional staff,” said Dr. Celeste Philip of Florida Surgeon General. “We will be able to do most of the testing in-state.”

There’s also a plan for more support for expectant mothers who may have been exposed.

Some ways you can help prevent the spread of Zika is to drain standing water, use insect repellent and to cover your arms and legs when outdoors.

For more information on Zika in Florida, follow this link: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus/

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