“Miami-Dade County remains committed to protecting our community from the spread of the Zika virus”, Miami Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said in a news release Tuesday. “As Mayor, I am also committed to making all resources available to keeping us safe.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

“In direct response to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Florida Department of Health, I have authorized Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control team to begin larvicide and adulticide aerial spraying every seven days for the next four weeks, as warranted by our mosquito-population surveillance data.

“This spraying will begin, weather-permitting, tonight or tomorrow morning, and will take place in a 10-square-mile area, with the area north of downtown Miami which includes the Wynwood neighborhood, at the center of the effort.

“We will also continue our ongoing outreach and education efforts to ensure that residents and visitors understand what they can do to protect themselves from Zika, and will be distributing mosquito-repellant wipes in areas where cases have been identified.

“I ask all residents to continue to do their part by draining standing water, protecting ourselves and our families by using mosquito repellant and covering up when going outdoors, especially during early morning and evening hours.”

On Monday, CDC Director Dr Thomas Frieden expressed concern over the lack of success with mosquito control in Miami. “In Miami, aggressive mosquito control measures don’t seem to be working as well as we would have liked.  This may happen for at least one of three reasons.

“First, it’s possible that the mosquitoes there are resistant to the insecticides that have been used.  Second, it’s possible that there are what we call cryptic breeding places or small amounts of standing water where mosquitoes continue to hatch.  And third, it’s possible simply that this is a very difficult mosquito to control, particularly in a complex urban environment like the one north of downtown Miami.”

As of Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health has reported 15 locally acquired Zika virus infections in the area.