The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to support local efforts to prevent new infections of Zika in Miami-Dade County. To see the latest situation firsthand, CDC director Tom Frieden traveled to Miami on October 25. He met with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, toured areas with known, active Zika transmission, and discussed strategies to combat Zika in Little River, Miami Beach, and throughout South Florida during the coming months.
CDC has collaborated with Florida in its response since Zika was first reported in Miami in July 2016. In addition to our support for the state, a strong partnership with the mayors of the affected areas has advanced our understanding of the virus and helped reduce the risk of infection for people living in and traveling to those areas. We have evidence that the response is working:
• Miami-Dade County officials interrupted the spread of Zika virus in Wynwood with a comprehensive integrated pest management program that included aerial spraying. Aerial spraying of ultra-low volumes of pesticide along with natural larvicide knocked down mosquitos rapidly and was associated with interrupting transmission of Zika in Wynwood.
• Miami-Dade County and Miami Beach currently report low mosquito trap counts.
CDC has been working with Miami-area officials on plans for “Prevention, Detection, Response” since Zika was first reported and expects to continue to do so. In particular, CDC applauds the intensive case investigation and vector control efforts of our colleagues in Florida.
Despite this progress, Zika remains unpredictable, and we can’t let down our guard. CDC is committed to working with state, city and county officials to provide people living in or traveling to Miami-Dade County with transparent, timely and complete information, and to prepare for possible continued spread of Zika in the months to come. On October 27, CDC and the Florida Department of Health will present a seminar, “Zika Clinical Considerations for Obstetrics and Gynecology Practitioners: Updated Guidance” to ensure Florida clinicians have the latest information to protect their patients. To date, CDC has provided Florida with more than $38 million in emergency preparedness and Zika funds, technical assistance and staff to support the response, thousands of Zika test kits and materials for Zika Prevention Kits, and educational materials.
As this collaboration with Florida shows, an effective Zika response must be tailored to each affected community. Going forward, the optimal approach includes intensive surveillance of mosquito populations, rapid response with effective mosquito control, and a continuing search for new methods of vector control. We are committed to working with local and state authorities to prevent infections and provide the protection pregnant women deserve.