State Capital Briefs (Evening Edition): Friday, September 9
The News Service of Florida
Gov. Rick Scott next week will go to Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to fund the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus, as the disease continues to be detected in Miami-Dade County. The governor intends to be in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday, after postponing a similar trip this week so he could oversee the cleanup from Hurricane Hermine. Friday's announcement from Scott's office came as the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said it had detected Zika in another mosquito sample in an area of Miami Beach. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam approved a 45-day extension of a "mosquito declaration" that involves increased mosquito-control measures. "Despite relentless efforts by the city and the county, this new discovery shows that the Zika threat continues to grow," Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said in a prepared statement. The virus, which also can also be transmitted sexually, is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel advisories for a part of Miami Beach and the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami. The state Department of Health on Friday reported 12 new travel-related cases of Zika, with seven in Miami-Dade, two in Broward County, and one each in Hillsborough, Okaloosa and Orange counties. Travel related cases --- 616 have been reported by the state --- involve people who brought the virus into Florida after being infected elsewhere. The state has recorded 56 cases in which the virus reportedly was transmitted in Florida. No new locally transmitted cases were reported Friday. In all, 84 infections involve pregnant women. President Barack Obama requested Congress allocate $1.9 billion for the Zika fight in February. But Congress has been unable to agree on a funding plan.