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Aerial spraying to begin in Miami Beach to stop spread of Zika virus

Aerial spraying to begin Thursday for 4 weeks

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami-Dade County is continuing its fight against the Zika virus and will begin aerial spraying in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Tuesday in a statement.

Gimenez said the county will begin aerial spraying in the 1.5-square-mile area in Miami Beach where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus.

"Over the weekend, the number of mosquitoes found in traps in the 1.5-square-mile area in Miami Beach where mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika has increased," Gimenez said. "Despite the increase, it is important to note that all subsequent test results from mosquitoes in the same three trap locations have been negative for Zika."

The county has already been conducting aerial sprays in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood since the first cases of local transmission were reported.

The Environmental Protection Agency-approved spray will now move to Miami Beach, where initially concerns over high-rise buildings and construction sites prevented the spraying from happening.

According to the mayor's office, the spraying in the affected area in Miami Beach will begin about 5 a.m. Thursday and wrap up within a half-hour. It will be conducted over the next four weeks.

The aerial spraying will focus on adulticide treatment, while larvicide application will happen on the ground by truck or by hand.

"Due to the unique topography, high-rise buildings and construction sites on Miami Beach, at this time, we will focus our aerial spraying only on adulticide treatment and larvicide application on the ground by truck or by hand during inspections," Gimenez said. "This treatment differs slightly from the larvicide treatment we were able to perform both aerially and on the ground in the area north of downtown Miami where local transmission was first identified."

The affected area in Miami Beach has been identified as a 1.5-square-mile area between Eighth Street and 28th Street in the city's South Beach district.

Six new cases linked to Miami Beach were announced Friday

The county also said buffalo turbine trucks will be continuing to spray over the next four weeks west of Washington Avenue overnight and east of Washington Avenue between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

"As far as we know, Miami-Dade is one of the first counties in the nation to use this state-of-the-art equipment, using EPA-approved Bti to target breeding areas and reduce the mosquito population," Gimenez said. 

Residents in the area are asked to drain standing water to help efforts to remove mosquitoes from the area.


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