MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — Crews will not be able to spray the South Beach area to prevent Zika due to the city’s high-rise buildings and strong winds, according to the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Miami-Dade County officials have been spraying pesticide from planes flying over Miami’s Wynwood arts district since early this month, when Zika transmissions by mosquitoes were confirmed there.
Dr. Tom Frieden says planes can’t fly low enough among Miami Beach’s high-rises to spray pesticides that kill mosquitoes and their larvae. He says strong winds over the narrow island city also hinder such flights.
Frieden also says the large numbers of residents and visitors in the area will make it challenging to control the spread of Zika there.
Florida officials announced on Friday that they had identified South Beach as a second area of Zika transmission on the U.S. mainland.
Despite that Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a statement on the matter saying they would follow recommendations including aerial spraying, saying in part,
“Just like we mobilized and responded to suspected locally-acquired cases in the one-square-mile area north of downtown Miami, we will continue to follow our proactive, aggressive and time-tested protocol in the 1.5-square-mile area in the City of Miami Beach where locally-acquired cases have been confirmed.
We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health, and the Department of Agriculture. These recommendations include active surveillance and monitoring, EPA-approved aerial and on-ground larvicide and adulticide spraying as needed, treating storm drains with dunks, and responding to service requests from residents and our local, state and federal health and government officials.”
When asked to clarify, Gimenez said if the CDC says they cannot spray in the area then they will follow their recommendation.
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