While not unexpected, this is the first time that mosquitoes in South Florida have tested positive for the Zika Virus. This from the State's Department of Agriculture:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has detected Zika in three mosquito samples from a small area in Miami Beach. The mosquitoes from Miami Beach that tested positive for Zika are from an area where increased trapping and intensified mosquito control measures are occurring due to the investigation of local transmission led by the Florida Department of Health.
Ninety-five additional samples have been submitted by Miami-Dade County after the date of the positive submission, and the mosquitoes have tested negative for Zika.
“This find is disappointing, but not surprising. Florida is among the best in the nation when it comes to mosquito surveillance and control, and this detection enables us to continue to effectively target our resources. Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach, and state and federal partners will continue to work aggressively to prevent the spread of Zika,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
“Miami-Dade County's Mosquito Control team continues its proactive and aggressive response to reducing the mosquito population throughout the County,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “As it has been from the beginning, our goal is to eliminate the cycle of transmission by eliminating the mosquitoes. In the 1.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach where locally-acquired cases of Zika were confirmed, Miami-Dade County's Mosquito Control team conducted nearly 2,000 proactive inspections, abatement and treatment of mosquito breeding and adult mosquito activity, and three truck sprayings throughout the area, and in an additional extended area. I am confident that by working together with our community, with the City of Miami Beach and Mayor Levine, the Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we will continue to reduce the mosquito population and keep our community safe.”
"Miami Beach will continue to take a hardline in our fight against Zika. We are aggressively working to eliminate any and all potential mosquito breeding grounds. We are also working closely with our partners at the state and the county to ensure all resources are effectively deployed. Together we can contain and eliminate all cases of Zika. We need Congress to do its part to provide the necessary emergency resources to properly combat the spread of this virus," stated Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
The positive mosquito pools were collected in Miami Beach within the current zone that has been treated for local transmission. Scientists with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tested the samples at the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee, and the samples were then sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Gulf Coast University for confirmation.
Florida's proactive efforts, which are conducted by local mosquito control programs and supported by the expertise provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, include: eliminating larval habitats by emptying standing water, treating water-holding containers with long-lasting larvicide, providing outdoor residual and spatial insecticide treatments to reduce adult vectors, and conducting adult mosquito surveillance to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.
Now that Zika-positive mosquitoes have been identified in surveillance traps in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County's Mosquito Control team will continue to conduct inspections to reduce mosquito breeding and perform spray treatments as necessary in a 1/8-mile radius around the trap location.