Miami-Dade County mayor returns from Zika virus trip to CDC

Mayor Carlos Gimenez says discussions included new methods to control mosquitoes

MIAMI – Local 10 News spoke to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez after he returned Monday from a trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Gimenez was there to discuss the Zika virus and "new methods to control mosquitoes" in South Florida. Gimenez said it "involves mosquitoes and the things they put on mosquitoes to lower the population."

The mayor was talking about Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. Wolbachia is a bacterium that studies show could help stop the spread of viruses.

"(They) disrupt the reproductive cycle, and also the transmission of disease cycle," the mayor said.

Gimenez said the county wants to focus on mosquito-control efforts in the cooler, drier offseason. He also said the possibility of using genetically modified male mosquitoes to stop female mosquitoes from breeding isn't out of the question.

"We're going to be looking at all kinds of options," Gimenez said.

Gov. Rick Scott lifted the Zika virus advisory for Miami's Little River neighborhood last Friday after 45 days passed without any local transmissions.

The lone remaining "Zika zone" in Miami-Dade County is a stretch of Miami Beach from Eight to 28th streets, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It could be cleared by the end of the week if no other local transmissions are reported.

Gimenez said the CDC was "very happy" with the county's response to the Zika virus.

"The fact that, you know, some people were against some of the things we did, but that we pushed forward, and with those measures, we were able to knock them down," Gimenez said.

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