- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said his state is investigating a case of Zika virus in Pinellas County that isn’t linked to travel, signaling the virus could be spreading by mosquito bite near Tampa in addition to a pair of hotspots around Miami, which is on the other side of the state.

Mr. Scott, a Republican, said teams are going door-to-door to educate the community and mobilizing to knock out mosquitoes in Pinellas.

The state also identified four additional cases of local transmission in Wynwood, the artsy Miami neighborhood that saw the first cases of locally acquired Zika in the continental U.S.

Officials later identified five additional cases in Miami Beach, for a grand total of 42 cases statewide.

The Pinellas situation could signal that Zika is now spreading on the west side of Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, though the state Department of Health says it must conclude its investigation before deeming it the third site of active transmission in the state.

“While this investigation is ongoing, DOH still believes that ongoing active transmissions are only occurring in the two previously identified areas in Wynwood and Miami Beach,” Mr. Scott said.

Even as the the case count rose in Wynwood, Mr. Scott boasted that teams were able to “clear a significant area” of the neighborhood.

“This means that we have now cleared half of the area in Wynwood where we believe ongoing active transmission of Zika is occurring,” he said. “This is great news and we hope to continue reducing this area.”

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