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Florida spraying to control Zika

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016

Florida will conduct an aerial insecticide spraying campaign in an effort to kill mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

The spray, starting at dawn on Wednesday will cover a 16km area that includes the 2.5sq/km area just north of downtown Miami that health officials have identified as the hub of Zika transmission in the state, officials said on Tuesday.

A mosquito control worker sprays around a school in Miami © Provided by AAP A mosquito control worker sprays around a school in Miami

On Monday, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued an unprecedented travel warning, urging pregnant women to avoid travel to the Miami neighbourhood at the centre of the investigation.

The Zika outbreak was first detected last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to more than 1700 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

The virus has spread rapidly through the Americas and Caribbean and its arrival in the continental US has been widely anticipated.

Florida health officials announced another non-travel related case of Zika on Tuesday, bringing the total to 15.

The aerial spraying campaign was recommended to reduce adult mosquito populations that might be capable of carrying the Zika virus.

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