Miami Area Sees Three |New Cases of Zika Virus


     (CN) — Three new cases of locally acquired Zika virus infections have been reported in the same Miami neighborhood where 22 people had previously contracted the virus, the Florida Department of Health said Thursday.
     The infections were reported hours after Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that mosquito control activities had been effective in reducing the size of the area where Zika transmission is ongoing.
     Four square blocks of Wynwood, a neighborhood in north Miami, have been cleared, according to the governor’s office and the Florida Department of Health. State and federal health officials believe Zika transmission is contained to an area under a square mile.
     “We believe active transmissions of Zika are still only occurring in an area in Miami that is less than one square mile,” Scott said in a statement Thursday. “We are confident that our mosquito education, prevention and control efforts are working and hopeful that the impacted area will continue to be reduced as the Department of Health investigation continues.”
     After authorizing an additional $18 million to help health officials conduct mosquito control activities, Scott called on Congress to end their partisan standstill on allocating additional funds for combating Zika, echoing comments made by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton earlier in the week.
     “I still 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 work 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,” Scott said.
     President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion in Zika funding in February. The Senate passed a $1.1 billion deal in June.
     However, the House of Representatives failed to pass its own $1.1 billion aid package after Democrats filibustered, arguing that they were left out of negotiations and that the measure would take funding away from other previously funded health programs.
     The House version of the Zika funding bill would have also barred the funds from paying for birth control.

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