Zika has now made it’s way to Miami Beach, Florida. According to The Huffington Post evidence of local transmission of the virus in Miami confirms the fear that the virus would spread to the US and the mosquito population here.
The virus, which has grabbed headlines over the year as it has spread rapidly in South America, is known to cause an extremely rare birth defect, microcephaly. The defect causes abnormally small heads and development problems in new born infants.
As of now no travel warnings have been issues yet, this due to the fact officials are still trying to decide which area or areas to include in such a warning. However, an announcement is expected to be made Friday morning.
As of now there have been 35 cases of transmission suspected to be local in nature in the state.
The Miami region is one of the worlds premier travel and vacation areas. If people are afraid to travel it could devastate the local economies there. Worse even, perhaps, the people who do indeed travel to infected regions could bring the virus back with them and start the spread of it in new locations. People infected in Miami bitten by mosquitoes back home could start the spread of the virus locally there too. Over 15.5 million people spent at least one night in Miami last year directly spending 24.4 billion dollars according to Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
President Barack Obama requested 1.9 billion dollars from Congress back in February. The bill passed in the House of Representatives (although they slashed the amount in half) but ended up dying in a divided Senate. Congress has since adjourned on its summer break meaning no new measures to combat the spread of the virus on a federal level can be implemented until their return.