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Miami neighborhood identified as having active Zika transmission

Health officials say five people acquired the virus locally there

CNN —  

Zika is spreading in a third Miami neighborhood, health officials said Thursday.

The neighborhood, known as Little River, is the latest area in Miami to have confirmed Zika transmission.

Health officials determined that there was active transmission in the 1-square-mile area after confirming five, non-travel related cases. The two women and three men infected either live in the neighborhood, work there, or visited it, state health officials said.

“Florida’s small case cluster is not considered widespread transmission,” according to the state’s Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised pregnant women and people planning to conceive soon, to avoid affected areas. Zika poses a particular threat to pregnant woman due to its link with neurological disorders in unborn children.

Active transmissions in Miami-Dade County

State officials say Zika is “only actively being transmitted” in the Little River neighborhood and a 4.5-square mile stretch of Miami Beach.

In July, health officials confirmed the first local Zika transmission in the continental US in Florida.

By August, Wynwood, a small neighborhood in downtown Miami became the first place confirmed to have local transmission of the virus.

The CDC made an unprecedented move in warning pregnant women to steer clear of Wynwood. That warning was lifted about a month later after massive mosquito-control efforts.

“We have seen that aggressive mosquito control efforts have worked in areas like Wynwood and we hope the county also aggressively sprays in this area so we can limit the spread of this virus and protect pregnant women and their growing babies,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a statement.

Zika funding woes

Scott also lamented that the state had yet to see any federal funding after a long political fight over Zika.

“Today’s announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus,” he said.

President Obama asked Congress to provide $1.9 billion for the fight against Zika in February, but partisan arguments kept the request locked up in the House and Senate. It wasn’t until after Zika arrived on the US mainland, in the Wynwood and Miami-Dade areas of Florida, that Congress acted and allocated $1.1 billion in late September.

“It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don’t need bureaucratic timelines – we need funding now,” Scott stated.

Florida has had more than 1,000 cases of Zika. Most of them are travel-related, but 155 non-travel related cases have been confirmed, according to the state’s health department.

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CNN’s Debra Goldschmidt contributed to this report.