(CN) — Aerial mosquito spraying to fight the Zika virus is underway in Miami Beach, despite concerns from local residents and noted issues with the pesticide being sprayed.
A plane carrying the insecticide naled released the spray over the Atlantic Ocean before dawn Friday.
On-board meteorological equipment was used to determine how weather conditions would carry the spray, according to the Miami Herald.
The next round of spraying is scheduled for 6 a.m. Sunday.
Of Florida’s 56 Zika cases not related to travel, 11 are associated with Miami Beach.
Potential hazards still exist, as Florida vector control officials have not scheduled the spraying at night when bees are less active. Millions of bees in South Carolina died after local officials sprayed naled during the morning of Aug. 28.
Local residents are also concerned about health issues the spraying could cause.
“We are concerned that the naled actually has more of a potential risk of creating the problems we are trying to avert than the actual concern with Zika,” area resident Brik Viera said.
Some parents kept their children home from school because of the spraying.
Miami Beach is the second site of local Zika transmission in the continental United States. Local transmission has so far only occurred in Florida, health officials believe.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued travel warnings for pregnant women that include a section of Miami Beach and a one square mile area of Wynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, where local transmission of Zika was first reported.
On the other side of the nation, local officials in San Diego County hand-sprayed in a neighborhood called Normal Heights, after a resident tested positive for Zika. While the infection was contracted outside of the United States, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — the primary vectors of the virus — were found nearby.
However, no infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have ever been found in California.
Zika can cause various congenital disorders, including microcephaly — a birth defect that can lead to abnormally small heads, brain damage and stillbirths.
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