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Miami Beach official: No confirmation of Zika spreading

Pregnant women were specifically advised to avoid travel to the area of Miami Beach between 8th and 28th Streets from Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean - in addition to a previously identified one-square-mile zone in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

Florida officials announced on Friday that they had identified South Beach as a second area of Zika transmission on the USA mainland.

With more cases of the Zika virus being confirmed as locally transmitted in Florida and travelers returning home from the Olympics, the California Department of Public Health is urging residents to take precautions upon return to help prevent the spread of the virus in California.

The agency also asked pregnant women and their sexual partners to consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

Health officials in Florida are on high alert after another case of local Zika transmission was discovered in the tourist hotspot of Miami Beach.

Frieden said that it's hard to predict how long active transmission will continue and that it's possible that other neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County, where both Wynwood and Miami Beach are located, have active Zika transmission that is not yet apparent.

Pregnant women are at greatest risk because the virus can have devastating consequences for an unborn baby, including the birth defect microcephaly and other neurological deficits, as well as miscarriage and stillbirth among women who were infected while pregnant.

Gov. Rick Scott has directed Florida's health department to offer mosquito spraying and related services at no cost to Miami-Dade County's hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

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"We believe we have a new area where local transmission is occurring in Miami Beach", Scott told reporters during a noon news conference.

Scott nevertheless said aggressive mosquito control efforts had cleared a total of 17 blocks of the Wynwood area, based on tests administered to residents.

Morales said the city has been "proactively focused on the elimination of potential breeding sites for months".

But aerial pesticide spraying, which has been underway in Wynwood, and is credited with helping shrink the mosquito population there, is not considered appropriate for Miami Beach at this time, partly out of concern for the ocean, a Miami-Dade county official said.

It is unclear what kind of mosquito control may be implemented, if any, in Miami Beach. Organizers of the Americas Food and Beverage Show will add mosquito repellent to goody bags at the late September event at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

"For this reason, it is possible that other neighbourhoods in Miami-Dade County have active Zika transmission that is not yet apparent", the CDC's statement said. On Thursday, the health department revealed that there are 35 cases of likely local transmission in the state, which include two new cases that were identified outside of Wynwood.

Officials say at least 36 people have contracted the virus through local Florida mosquitoes. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said that the American people can not afford to wait any longer for action.

In February, President Obama requested $1.9 billion in nationwide funding to fight Zika.

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