MIAMI Florida health officials confirmed a new locally acquired case of the Zika virus in Miami-Dade County on Thursday but said it will not result in the imposition of any new Zika zones.
“This does not effect the lifting of any zones,” Mara Gambineri, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Health told Patch. “The individual reported multiple potential exposure sites so it is impossible to identify the exact area.”
State health officials reported three new cases of locally acquired Zika last month, but said they predated the lifting of Zika zones in Miami and Miami Beach. All three cases were sent to CDC for additional testing.
“Florida no longer has any identified areas with active Zika transmission, but we will continue to see isolated cases of local transmission so it is important for residents and visitors in Miami-Dade County to remain vigilant about mosquito bite protection,” according to state health officials.
They added: “One case does not mean ongoing active transmission is taking place. DOH conducts a thorough investigation by sampling close contacts and community members around each case to determine if additional people are infected,” according to health officials. “If DOH finds evidence that active transmission is occurring in an area, the media and the public will be notified.”
As of Thursday, state health officials reported a total of 1,302 confirmed cases of Zika throughout the state. The vast majority are considered travel-related transmissions. Officials also confirmed two new travel-related cases on Thursday — one in Seminole and the other in Osceola counties.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Dec. 9 that the final remaining Zika zone in the state had been lifted — an area of about 1.5 square miles between Eighth and 28th streets in South Beach.
“The South Beach area now does not have any local transmission of Zika and that’s a very good day for our state,” the governor said, speaking just off the beach at The Betsy Hotel. “What that means is our state has no local transmissions of Zika.”
Despite Zika concerns, Florida set a tourism record last year with an estimated 85 million people visiting in the first nine months of the year.
Additional information can be found on the Department of Health website.