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New locally acquired Zika cases turn up in Miami

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The Florida Department of Health has discovered three more human Zika infections that were caused by mosquitoes living in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, officials said today.

The announcement brings the total number of known, locally acquired cases of Zika infection in Miami to 25, up from none on July 31.

Puerto Rico had 5,460 locally acquired cases of Zika as of Aug. 4, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Wynwood neighborhood in Miami has the only known locally acquired Zika infections in the United States.

Public health officials say that the Zika virus clearly can lead to small head size, or microcephaly, in developing babies, and also appears to lead to Guillain Barre Syndrome. Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare condition, related to a patient’s recovery from a viral infection, that can lead to temporary paralysis, permanent paralysis and, in some cases, death.

Related: Florida shudders as Zika spread forces Miami shops to close

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, said that the Florida Department of Health has worked to clear 10 blocks in the neighborhood of mosquitoes last week, and four more blocks this week. The department believes no local transmission of Zika is occurring the cleared blocks, Scott said in a statement.

“This means the area where we believe active transmissions are occurring in the state is significantly reducing,” Scott said.

Scott said Florida has allocated $18 million of the $26 million it has set aside for the Zika fight.

“We will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure their needs are met, and we are prepared to allocated more if needed,” Scott said. “I will have outstanding requests that I put into the Obama administration that I am waiting on, and I am disappointed that Congress has not come back to deal with this national issue. The president and Congress must work together to get to a solution for all the families across our nation.”

Public health authorities are trying to fight Zika by getting rid of standing water that might help mosquitoes breed, and by spraying Naled. Naled is banned in Europe, and some Miami residents are questioning whether the benefits involved with spraying Naled outweigh the possible benefits.


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