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Miami Beach residents protest against aerial spraying over Zika zone

Aerial spraying to begin at 5 a.m. Friday

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach residents hit the streets Thursday to march in protest against aerial spraying over a 1.5-square-mile area where people are believed to have contracted the Zika virus locally.

"I just want to know more about the side effects of the chemicals," Miami Beach resident Victoria Ficklin said. "I'm concerned about the homeless population (and) the tourists here that don't know about it."

Protesters held signs and got drivers to honk their horns outside Miami Beach commission chambers.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez attended a public meeting Wednesday in Miami Beach and said the recommendation for the aerial spraying is coming from federal and state health officials.

"Remember, the CDC is not a state agency," Gimenez said. "The CDC is a federal agency, and they are the ones too that are recommending this."

But some residents are worried that the pesticide being sprayed, Naled, could be harmful to their health or could kill off other insects in the area.

"It could be completely ineffective or it could be extremely effective, killing not only the mosquitoes they target, but butterflies, bees in the community  -- then the whole ecosystem there," Brik Vieira said.

Aerial spraying was scheduled to begin Thursday morning, but Gimenez agreed to postpone it until 5 a.m. Friday.

He said the spraying will last a half-hour and will continue Sunday and again on the following two weekends.

Electronic billboards have been placed around Miami Beach to warn people of the aerial spraying. 

Meanwhile, Miami Beach residents and visitors can visit the Miami Beach Police Department to get more information about Zika and ways to prevent the virus. 

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.