Florida expands anti-Zika efforts after infected mosquitoes found in Miami

Zika virus is a growing concern in Florida.
(Image credit: iStock)

Local mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been found in Miami, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Thursday. This is the first instance of native Zika-carrying mosquitoes to be found the United States; all previous cases of the disease were found to be linked to foreign travel.

Three mosquito samples from the Miami Beach area tested positive for Zika, a finding Florida's commissioner of agriculture called "disappointing, but not surprising." In response, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced he had requested that the state Department of Health "aggressively expand testing and outreach efforts," including aerial insecticide spraying via helicopter in Miami Beach:

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Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, meanwhile, urged Congress to pass bills appropriating funding for the fight against Zika. Back in February, President Obama requested $1.9 billion to combat the virus, but the legislation stalled on Capitol Hill over the summer. "We need Congress to do its part to provide the necessary emergency resources to properly combat the spread of this virus," Levine said.

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