Florida's Bummer Summer Continues As Zika Believed To Have Spread To Miami Beach

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already issued one Zika-related travel advisory in the United States, but that soon may expand to one of the country's largest summer party cities. Photo credit: Felipe Dana/AP

STAT spoke with an anonymous health official who said that a number of cases that have popped up in Florida that can be linked to Miami Beach.

The publication confirmed that around 35 people have been infected with Zika who were connected with Wynwood, a neighbourhood in downtown Miami. The CDC has already issued an advisory for pregnant women who are planning on travelling to the Wynwood area — the first one issued for the continental US — but this new development could mean an expansion of that advisory.

A Miami Beach commissioner told STAT that officials haven't found a Zika-carrying mosquito yet. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in a statement to The Washington Post, said that the outbreak was still confined to Wynwood.

"We still believe local transmissions are only occurring in an area that is less than one square mile [2.5 square kilometres]," he said.

Florida is generally awful in the summer due to all that humidity, but there could be negative consequences for the Miami tourism industry if this advisory goes through. The city saw a record 15.5 million visitors in 2015, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

And it's not just Zika. Florida has been battling a number of invasive species, pests and ecological disasters this year. Beach parties are only the start of where Florida's tourism industry could suffer.

[STAT, The Washington Post]

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