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Everything you need to know about the zika virus in South Florida.

'We Have A Good Plan,' Say Miami-Dade Emergency Officials About Non-Travel-Related Zika Case

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The Florida Health Department announced Tuesday evening that it is investigating a possible case of non-travel-related Zika in Miami-Dade County, the first of its kind in the state. 
 
Curt Sommerhoff, the emergency management director in Miami-Dade County, says the department is working hard with the Florida Department of Health and Mosquito Control officials in case the investigation turns more significant. 
 

 
“Our expertise here is multi-agency coordination,” Sommerhoff said. 
 
“So anything the Health Department would need, anything the mosquito people would need, if things were to get ramped up in terms of other resources here in the community, we could make those available to them.” 
 
According to Sommerhoff, if an outbreak were to happen, the department would first focus on keeping residents informed.

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“It’s really in the hands of the public, to work with the government to make sure they’re doing the things around their homes to make sure  their home is potentially free from mosquito breeding.”
 
He says it’s up to communities to keep neighborhoods “mosquito-breeding free.” 
 
The Florida Health Department recommends draining water from places it may collect around a home, like birdbaths and pets'  water bowls. 
 
Repellant use and clothes that cover the skin are also advised. 
 
Zika has not been a mosquito-borne disease, as of yet, in the United States. 
 
Sommerhoff says because South Florida has a subtropical climate the Health Department is familiar with mosquito-borne illnesses, like Chikungunya and West Nile.  He says it’s still not time to get worried or panic. 
 

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“We have such a good plan here, we have such good resources, that it’s not a problem typically in First World countries and in places with government that do focus on these efforts.”
 

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