WYNWOOD (CBSMiami) – Ground spraying for mosquitoes that could possibly carry the Zika virus will take place this week in Miami-Dade County.
This comes as a new study by Florida International University shows Wynwood businesses lost as much as 40 percent in revenue from last year’s outbreak.
As Miami-Dade prepares to spray larvicide this coming week as part of their fight against the mosquitoes and Zika, the new study documents the negative impact Zika had on the Wynwood neighborhood of South Florida.
A new study released by FIU’s College of Public Health & Social Work found that last year’s Zika outbreak hit the bottom line of Wynwood businesses.
Some reported losing as much as 40 percent of their revenue.
“When Zika was first reported in the area, it was like a ghost town,” said Tina Brady with Walt Grace. “I was waiting for Zombies to walk through. A lot of the businesses suffered.”
This business says while they saw the impact of Zika, they have an online presence and that helped them keep their doors open.
The study found that despite declines in revenue few businesses changed their prices, inventories or staff levels.
So far this year, Florida health officials have confirmed 29 travel-related Zika cases in Miami-Dade County but no local infections.
Statewide, health officials have confirmed 72.
Some tourists have no idea there were cases reported in Wynwood, with one saying it wouldn’t affect her decision to visit the area.
“I’m not looking to get pregnant and I don’t feel like [Zika is] something, unless you’re trying to get pregnant, is going to affect you,” said Tisha Dominguez, visiting from Jacksonville.
As rainy season returns to South Florida, public health and medical authorities are being strategic in preventing and responding to outbreaks, with more larvicide spraying scheduled from July 11th to the 13th.
Miami-Dade’s Solid Waste Management Department issued a statement on the spraying, saying,
“Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control and Habitat Management is conducting normal mosquito control inspections and necessary ground treatments for larvae and adult mosquitoes. There are no aerial spray treatments planned or being performed at this time.”
The spraying comes as a Miami Beach doctor filed for an injunction to stop the aerial spraying of Naled – which is not the same as larvicide. The doctor says Naled spraying is too risky and not enough is known about its potential health effects.
Tourists don’t seem to be too worried about any of this and as for the injunction, a status conference on the complaint is scheduled for July 12th.