Possible Zika Cases Being Investigated in Miami Beach

PHOTO: An aerial view of Miami Beach and South Beach from the MetLife blimp on March 8, 2014PlayGetty
WATCH Zika Virus Spreads to Miami Beach

Two possible cases of Zika have been reported in Miami Beach, setting off alarm in one of the country's biggest tourist destinations even as public officials stress that the location where the virus was actually transmitted has not been confirmed.

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"By now you may have seen the various news reports regarding the Zika virus linked to Miami Beach," Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Moraels said in a statement. "It is important to note that at this time the Department of Health has not confirmed any cases on Miami Beach, however we have been informed that cases are being investigated."

PHOTO: A plane sprays pesticide over the Wynwood neighborhood in the hope of controlling and reducing the number of mosquitos, some of which may be capable of spreading the Zika virus Getty Images
A plane sprays pesticide over the Wynwood neighborhood in the hope of controlling and reducing the number of mosquitos, some of which may be capable of spreading the Zika virus

The Florida Department of Health Thursday reported two new non-travel related cases of Zika showing up outside the one-square-mile area around Miami's Wynwood arts district where several cases had previously been reported. City and state officials have said that the outbreak is contained to that specific area, where efforts to eradicate the mosquito population have also been focused.

PHOTO: Barbara Betancourt holds her baby Daniel Valdes after being given a can of insect repellent by James Bernat, a City of Miami police officer Getty Images
Barbara Betancourt holds her baby Daniel Valdes after being given a can of insect repellent by James Bernat, a City of Miami police officer

The New York Times cited an anonymous health official saying a "handful" of cases had been linked to Miami Beach. The Miami Herald quoted an email reportedly sent from Moraels to Miami Beach commissioners in which he mentions a tourist who may have been infected during a stay there, as well as a local resident who lives and works in Miami Beach who may also have become infected.

PHOTO: A grounds keeper at Pinecrest Gardens, former home of the historic Parrot Jungle, uses a blower to spray pesticide to kill mosquitos Aug. 4, 2016 in Miami TNS via Getty Images
A grounds keeper at Pinecrest Gardens, former home of the historic Parrot Jungle, uses a blower to spray pesticide to kill mosquitos Aug. 4, 2016 in Miami

The two additional cases reported Thursday bring the total number of local transmissions of the Zika virus in Florida to 35.