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Rep. Wilson: Liberty City Not Getting Enough Attention In Zika Fight

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Infectious disease experts have long said that Zika in all of South Florida is a reality we would need to begin accepting and now Liberty City has joined the list of Zika zones.

Representative Frederica Wilson joined other leaders and Zika experts Tuesday to discuss response, outreach, and prevention.

Her biggest concern is that Liberty City is not getting the attention that tourist-heavy zones got.

"We all live here, so we want to make sure our children are safe and we're safe," said Rep. Wilson.

Zika 101: Prevent Spread By Protecting Yourself

She says she's not surprised that Governor Rick Scott has not reached out to her with plans to visit Little Haiti, Little River or Liberty City as he did in Wynwood and Miami Beach.

"It's not a good message for him but we get it. We get it and it's our responsibility to put him on notice," said Rep. Wilson.

The next steps in Wilson's district is an aggressive approach that includes education and prevention. Actions like removing standing water which could make for mosquito breeding grounds make a difference in avoiding the spread of the virus - linked to severe birth defects.

Related: New Pool Of Mosquitoes Test Positive For Zika In Miami Beach

While scientists work on a vaccine, experts say Zika in primarily residential zones is of great concern.

"We have to take measures right now to protect ourselves and our children, our neighbors, our communities and that's incredibly important because if we don't do it, it's only going to get worse," said Dr. Aileen Marti.

Besides education, the congresswoman says every business in Liberty City will get mosquito repellent to pass out at no cost.

As of Tuesday, there were 163 non-travel related Zika infections in Florida and 744 travel-related cases. About 109 cases involved pregnant women.

So far, the local transmission zones in Miami-Dade County are the following:

  • Miami Beach Area - 28th Street to the north, 8th Street to the south, intercoastal water to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
  • Miami Area - NW 79th St. to the North, NW 63rd St. to the South, NW 10th Ave. to the West and N. Miami Ave. to the East.

Click here for more information on the Zika virus or here for more Zika-related stories.

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