Miami-Dade Mosquito Control out in full force in Wynwood

1 new locally acquired Zika infection reported in Miami-Dade County

By Ian Margol - Reporter , Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI - Miami-Dade Mosquito Control was back in Wynwood Tuesday, searching  for anywhere pests infected with the Zika virus might be breeding.

One inspector found larvae growing inside a garbage can.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that pregnant women stay away from the Wynwood area, after it was determined that 14 people have locally contracted the virus, likely from mosquito bites.

"This is a really tough mosquito to control. We've never seen a mosquito-borne illness that can cause a birth defect," CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said.

But for those who live and work nearby, staying away isn't a possibility.

"We do a lot of counseling for pregnant women who have been infected or bitten by mosquitoes and stuff," Tamara Byron said.

Byron is a medical assistant in the OB/GYN department at the University of Miami Health System. She said expecting mothers need to be extraordinarily cautious.

"It's really important. You don't want to have a miscarriage or an infliction event  during a pregnancy," she said.

As the virus spreads across the area, so does concern. But Miami lawyer Kevin Larsen said he won't let it stop him from living his life normally.

"I guess it makes me slightly nervous, but not enough to make me change what I do every day," Larsen said.

The area of concentration is in Wynwood, between Northwest Fifth Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard to Northwest 38th Street and Northwest 20th Street.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released a statement Tuesday, saying that he has authorized the county's Mosquito Control team to begin aerial spraying every seven days for next four weeks.

"This spraying will begin, weather-permitting, tonight or tomorrow morning, and will take place in a 10-square-mile area, with the area north of downtown Miami which includes the Wynwood neighborhood, at the center of the effort," Gimenez said.

Health officials said Tuesday there were three new travel-related cases in Miami-Dade County and one new non-travel-related case.

This brings the total number of locally acquired infections to 15.

According to the CDC, the Zika virus typically causes a mild rash, fever and joint pain. Only one in five people infected with the virus are symptomatic.

More than 2,300 people statewide have been tested for the virus.
 

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