On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that the Department of Health has cleared the Miami Beach area of ongoing, active Zika transmission. The newly cleared area is about 1.5 square miles between 8th and 28th streets. Florida no longer has any identified areas with active Zika transmission.

Florida map/National Atlas of the United States
Florida map/National Atlas of the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there have been no new cases of local Zika virus transmission identified in South Miami Beach for more than 45 days, suggesting that the risk of Zika virus infection is no longer greater than in the rest of Miami-Dade County.

In a statement from Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez, he notes that they are the first community in the world to break the cycle of local transmission.

Florida’s mosquito control received praise from Mayor Gimenez and CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden. “Because of our success, Miami-Dade’s Mosquito Control team is regarded as a model for the rest of the world, and we will continue to explore new and emerging technologies and options to keep our community safe from the Zika virus”, Gimenez said.

“Florida’s rapid response and comprehensive mosquito control program has allowed them to interrupt Zika transmission, but we must stay vigilant and also take what we have learned and be prepared for next season,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

Despite the success, Gimenez reminds us of the importance of remaining vigilant. “Although all Zika transmission zones in Miami have been lifted, we must remain vigilant and we all must continue to do our part as residents and visitors, the Mayor stated.

“Mosquito control is a year-round responsibility, and we continue to rely on everyone who lives in or travels to Miami-Dade to help us stop the spread of Zika by draining any standing water, wearing mosquito repellant, and covering up with long sleeves and pants when going outdoors.”

The number of Zika virus cases in Florida is 1,247 as of Friday, this includes 983 travel-associated infections and 249 locally acquired cases.

As of December 8, a total of 4,575 cases of Zika have been reported in the continental United States and Hawaii through CDC’s ArboNET. These cases include 38 cases believed to be the result of sexual transmission, and one case that was the result of a laboratory exposure.