The Department of Health is stepping up its efforts to combat the spread of Zika in South Florida.
Gov. Rick Scott said Monday the department is sending in “additional commercial pest control companies to assist with local mosquito control efforts in Miami-Dade County.” The news of additional assistance comes as two more cases of locally transmitted Zika have been discovered.
Scott said two more people have contracted the Zika virus. Both are in Miami-Dade County, and Scott said the state still believes local transmissions are occurring in one-square mile in Wynwood, a trendy arts neighborhood near Miami.
In June, Scott used his executive authority to allocate $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response. The money was to be used for mosquito surveillance and abatement, training mosquito control technicians, and purchasing more prevention kits from the CDC.
Scott said Monday that the Department of Health has been “fulfilling requests for Miami-Dade County since June, and they are expediting the county’s additional request made on Friday for additional staff and mosquito traps.” Scott said the department will continue to review and fulfill any necessary requests for mosquito control “to continue fighting Zika.”
There are now 30 cases of locally transmitted Zika in Florida. According to state health officials, there are more than 400 travel related cases of Zika in Florida.
The Department of Health is currently investigating four areas in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, where transmissions of Zika have occurred. However, Scott said the agency believes transmissions are still only occurring in the Wynwood neighborhood.