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Rick Scott identifies new Zika transmission zone in Miami-Dade County

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The Department of Health has identified a new transmission zone for locally acquired Zika. Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that health officials confirmed local transmissions are occurring in a small area in Miami-Dade County. The area is about one-square mile, and stretches from NW 79th Street to the north to NW 63rd Street to the south, and NW 10th Avenue to the west and N. Miami Avenue to the east. “Today’s announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing…

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State health department says Pinellas has two new travel-related Zika cases

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State health officials say there are eight new travel-related cases of Zika in Florida as of Tuesday. Of those, two are in Pinellas, four in Broward, one in St. Lucie and one involving a pregnant woman, according to the Florida Department of Health’s daily zika update. There is also one new non-travel related case linked to Miami-Dade County. The department is to investigating where exposure occurred. Those cases bring the total number of Florida Zika cases to 1,002. The majority…

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Growers: Bromeliads aren’t to blame for Zika in Miami Beach

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Just over a month ago, Miami Beach Botanical Garden was home to over 2,000 colorful, water-trapping bromeliads, some featuring red flowers that burst like fireworks from dark green spirals. Identified as breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry Zika, they’ve all been pulled out, leaving shallow depressions in flower beds and exposing irrigation lines. Walking through the quiet haven in South Beach recently, executive director Sandy Shapiro pointed to where spiky yellow leaves once topped a block of stone at the…

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After Zika, critical to monitor babies’ health — but how long?

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Zika mosquitoes

More federal money finally is available to fight the Zika virus even as the news worsens: Babies who at first seem to have escaped its devastating hallmark defect — an abnormally small head at birth — might not be out of the woods after all. Brazilian doctors have counted a small number of babies who at birth had a normal-sized head and only later were found to have problems. They have delayed neurodevelopment. At five months, one could use one hand but…

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Still more Miami-Dade mosquitoes test positive for Zika

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Yet another batch of mosquitoes in Miami Beach has tested positive for the Zika virus. The results were in the same location “where five other samples had previously tested positive,” the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Saturday. The latest positive sample of Aedes aeqypti mosquitoes was from a trap located on West 49th Street in Miami Beach, according to a news release. The county’s Mosquito Control team “will continue to conduct inspections to reduce mosquito breeding and perform spray treatments as…

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Joe Henderson: Issue 1 in 2018 Gov’s race, fixing Florida environment

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I think we have one of our first major campaign issues for the 2018 race to succeed Rick Scott as Florida’s governor. Any serious candidate who doesn’t come out strongly in favor seriously beefing up the state Department of Environmental Protection will miss a great opportunity. In just the last couple of months alone, an understaffed and likely overwhelmed DEP has had to deal with the algae bloom that threatened to trash summer tourism in Stuart and surrounding areas. Recriminations…

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Senate passes stopgap spending bill with $1.1 billion to fight Zika

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Averting an election-year crisis, the Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 9 and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to battle the Zika virus. The House was poised to act on the measure before day’s end. The sweeping 72-26 vote came after top congressional leaders broke through a stalemate over aid to help Flint, Michigan, address its water crisis. Democratic advocates for Flint are now satisfied with Republican assurances that money for Flint…

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