Florida Governor Rick Scott confirmed on Friday that there are five new cases of the Zika virus that are linked to local mosquitoes in the Miami Beach area.
“We believe we have a new area where local transmission is occurring in Miami Beach,” said Scott during a press conference. The new cases bring the total number of Zika cases from local mosquitoes in Florida to 36. Zika is also confirmed to be spreading among local mosquitoes in an area north of downtown Miami called Wynwood.
Scott said that among the five cases there are individuals from New York, Texas and Taiwan who were infected in the area.
The area of Miami Beach that’s affected is less than 1.5 square miles, Scott said. Officials also believe that the affected area in Wynwood is now smaller than previously thought due to mosquito control. You can see a map of the affected area in Miami Beach here.
“We want to do all we can to ensure Florida remains safe for our visitors and families,” said Scott, adding that the state will continue to conduct active mosquito control, and that the tourism industry is top of mind. “This industry has the full support of our state in the fight of the Zika virus.”
Scott said women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant should contact their OBGYN. Pregnant women can also seek a free assessment and Zika test through their county health department.
Scott says he has called upon the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 5,000 testing kits and lab support as well as 10,000 Zika prevention kits for pregnant women. Scott says he also wants a “detailed plan from the Obama Administration” on how to work with FEMA during the outbreak. “I have repeatedly called on the President for this,” said Scott.
The CDC has not yet said whether it will recommend that pregnant women avoid the affected Miami Beach area. The agency previously recommended that pregnant women avoided the affected Wynwood area.