-- Mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been found in the Miami area, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, marking the first time that the virus has been found in mosquitoes in the continental United States.
Three mosquito samples from Miami Beach tested positive for Zika virus, according to the agency, which has also tested 95 additional samples in Miami-Dade County, but all have been negative so far.
“This find is disappointing, but not surprising," Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said in a statement today. "Florida is among the best in the nation when it comes to mosquito surveillance and control, and this detection enables us to continue to effectively target our resources."
The Zika virus was first detected in a small portion of northern Miami in July. A second outbreak location was found in Miami Beach in August. At least 47 people have been infected in the outbreak via mosquitoes.
While this is the first time mosquitoes have tested positive for Zika, health authorities had already confirmed through epidemiological investigations that the virus was spreading via insects. The outbreak in Florida is the first outbreak of locally transmitted Zika virus in the continental U.S.
Miami-Dade County's mosquito control team has been spraying for the insects as well as treating mosquito breeding grounds with the hope of stopping the outbreak.
"Miami Beach will continue to take a hardline in our fight against Zika," Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said in a statement today. "We are aggressively working to eliminate any and all potential mosquito breeding grounds. We are also working closely with our partners at the state and the county to ensure all resources are effectively deployed. Together we can contain and eliminate all cases of Zika."