“At least five people have contracted Zika virus from mosquitoes in Miami’s Little River neighborhood, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Thursday, identifying a one-square-mile zone where the disease is spreading — between Northwest 79th and 63rd Streets from Northwest 10th Avenue to North Miami Avenue.
“Scott’s office identified the area after the Florida Department of Health confirmed that two women and three men had contracted Zika there. Three of the people live in the one-square-mile area, and two either work there or recently visited, according to the governor’s announcement.
“The new zone is the second in Miami-Dade where mosquitoes are known to be spreading Zika. The other is a 4.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach covering most of South Beach and Middle Beach, between Eighth and 63rd Streets from the ocean to the bay.
“Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said Scott called him Thursday afternoon, shortly before announcing the news, to tell Regalado that a new Zika zone had been identified in his city less than a month after state and federal health officials had cleared the Wynwood area of active transmission Sept. 19.
“Regalado said he’s concerned about the people who live in the new Zika zone, which unlike Wynwood is primarily residential. The area includes St. Mary’s Cathedral and Athalie Range Park, and two high schools — Miami Northwestern and Miami Edison — border the zone.
“Miami Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, whose district includes Wynwood and the new zone in Little River, said he was “disappointed” by the announcement. He said it confirmed his office’s recent warnings to area residents that they should not let down their guard on Zika just because they live outside the ‘box,’ a reference to the one-square-mile zone previously identified in Wynwood.
“Hardemon said both the state and federal government need to pour more money and resources into fighting the spread of the virus in Miami.
“’We were all blindsided by this bit of information,’ he said, ’and that’s why it was always important for us to protect ourselves from the Zika virus the best we can without considering it’s just within one area.’
“For Hardemon, the Zika threat has been personal.
“His wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl Oct. 6, he said. But the couple is still waiting for the state health department to deliver the results of Zika tests they both took shortly after learning July 29 that mosquitoes were spreading the virus in Wynwood near their home.”
Source: Miami Herald