Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine: Between our efforts and the county's spraying efforts, the last thing I'd ever want to be on Miami Beach is a mosquito.
South Beach has been identified as a second site of Zika transmission by mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland, and containing it there will be difficult because high-rise buildings and strong winds make it impractical to spray the neighborhood from the air, officials said Friday. Five cases of Zika have been connected to mosquitoes in Miami Beach, bringing the state's caseload to 36 infections not related to travel outside the U.S., Florida's governor and health department announced Friday.
Federal authorities have given final approval to a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida, but none of the insects will be immediately dispatched in the state's fight against the spread of Zika. After considering thousands of public comments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine concluded the proposal from biotech firm Oxitec to release its mosquitoes in an island neighborhood just north of Key West would not significantly affect the environment, according a statement from the agency. The FDA approval came hours before the Florida Department of Health confirmed a new Zika infection within a 1-square-mile zone encompassing the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami.
Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District: We have to totally rethink mosquito control for Aedes aegypti. It is like a little ninja. It is always hiding.
There was no official warning, at first, to stay clear of Florida, but the crowds that usually wander among the bold street murals in the trendy Wynwood arts district might have been thinner after reports that mosquitoes in Miami spread the Zika virus on the U.S. mainland for the first time. Officials tried to reassure tourists they would be safe when visiting theme parks and urban arts districts in the state But some Miami residents said Friday they were stocking up on mosquito repellent and planning to bring lunches to work instead of sitting at outdoor cafe tables.