Miami-Dade County takes steps to prevent Zika-carrying mosquitoes in area

All Zika-infected residents in county contracted disease in foreign countries

MIAMI – Concerns about the Zika virus are rising as mosquito season nears, and Miami-Dade County leaders are taking steps to get ready.

Mosquito breeding sites can be in the most simple and smallest of places at the average home, and bromeliads are often a hidden danger zone.

"It is required that our residents play a role and do their job," Chalmers Vasquez of Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control said at a news conference on Monday.

Mosquito control experts joined county leaders to sound the alarm on the pesky critter associated with the Zika virus. The Aedes aegypti is a disease-plagued insect that also passes on the chikungunya virus and dengue fever.

"Is this a public health emergency, Zika?" Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney asked Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

"It's not an emergency right now," Gimenez said. "What we're trying to do is make sure it doesn't become an emergency, and so the best thing to do is to prevent it."

Florida is now home to 112 cases of Zika, 44 of them in Miami-Dade County, the largest group in the state. So far, all patients have contracted the disease while they were out of the country.

"We're going to spend whatever we need on vector and mosquito control here in Miami-Dade County," Gimenez said. "Like I said, we're not going to wait on Washington or Tallahassee."

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