Zika virus cases increase in Miami Beach, officials say

Commissioner opposes CDC recommendation to air spray pesticide


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – While residents are still learning about investigators finding mosquitoes with the Zika virus, a local official announced there were more people diagnosed with the virus than the Florida Health Department had reported. 

Due to Hurricane Hermine, state officials did not release their daily report on Friday. But Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco used his Facebook account to report there were six more cases in Miami Beach.

City Manager Jimmy Morales notified Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine of the cases and officials talked to the Department of Health. 

Grieco said he reiterated his opposition to the use of aerial spraying in Miami Beach. He also used social media to ask residents to "continue to take appropriate precautions and report any standing water" to the city with the Miami Beach eGov mobile phone app

Gov. Rick Scott said the Centers for Disease Control recommended air spraying in Miami Beach and the state made the funds available to make it happen.  

"Naled [an EPA approved pesticide] is a public concern," Grieco said. He added there is a lot "we don't know" about the pesticide.

As of Thursday, officials reported there were 705 Zika virus cases in Florida. The majority of infections are travel related. There were about 170 cases in Miami-Dade County and some 100 in Broward County. 

After the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported there were mosquitoes with Zika at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the tourist destination closed on Monday. 

Miami's Wynwood, where authorities identified the first non-travel related cases in the nation in July, remained a popular destination for displays of outdoor art and nightlife. 



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