CDC issues travel advisory for Miami Beach

Five new cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus found in city

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel warning advising pregnant women to avoid traveling to Miami Beach after five locally-transmitted cases of the Zika virus were identified in the city.

Gov. Rick Scott made the official announcement of the transmissions Friday, adding that a new Zika zone has been created between 8th Street and 28th Street in Miami Beach.

The area is the second site of Zika transmission in mainland U.S. 

The Miami Beach zone is approximately a 1.5 mile area.

The new cases bring the total number of locally-transmitted cases in Miami-Dade County to 36.

Of the five Miami Beach transmissions, two of the people live in the city, while the other three are visitors and are no longer in the area.

"Miami-Dade County remains committed to protecting our community from the spread of the Zika virus, and my administration and I will continue to provide whatever resources are necessary to keep our residents and visitors safe," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.

The declaration of a new zone is the first since the Wynwood area north of downtown Miami was put on notice last month.

CDC officials said pregnant women might not want to travel to Miami-Dade County at all until the Zika virus transmissions go down.

The state announced that three additional blocks in the northeast section of the Wynwood zone have been cleared due to no continued evidence of active transmission.

Seventeen blocks of the Wynwood area have now been cleared.

The governor walked around the Wynwood area after a news conference Friday to talk about financial losses and how the state can help business owners.

Some business owners told Local 10 News that they are disappointed with how health officials have handled the locally-transmitted cases and said that they suspected all along that there were cases outside Wynwood.

"We found the messaging from the governor's office to be very dissatisfying -- frankly misleading," Joseph Furst from the Wynwood Business Improvement District said.

Furst said the focus should have always been county-wide, instead of just in Wynwood, which had been financially impacted.

"There are 440 property owners that exist within our neighborhood. I'm not aware of one single business that's been reached out to for assistance," he said.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.