CBS News has learned from health officials that there is a cluster of cases in the Miami Beach area that are believed to represent a second area of active Zika transmission. An announcement is expected in the near future.
There are 35 confirmed locally transmitted, non-travel-related cases of Zika across Florida.
But this new development differs from what state and local officials are reporting. Last night, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine disagreed, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.
“I know there’s been talk about some kind of cluster. There’s no cluster,” Levine said.
Florida Governor Rick Scott told CBS News Thursday the reports of a new area of Ziska transmission are “wrong.” The Florida Health Department has said it believes active transmissions are only happening in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
Six public schools fall within or near that Wynwood Zika zone. More than 4,000 students head back to class on Monday, and school officials are making sure the children are covered, distributing insect repellent and uniforms – with long sleeves and pants – to families who want it.
“Precaution, no panic, right?” said Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami Dade County’s public schools.
“Was there ever a thought in not having the kids go to those six schools that are within the Zika zone?” Begnaud asked.
“We actually considered that but as counterintuitive as it may be, it doesn’t make sense,” Carvalho said. “Actually, we may in fact be helping the spread of the virus if we deploy these students to other schools outside of the area.”
The CDC is advising pregnant women to avoid the Wynwood area.
Mercedes Cabrera is expecting her third child. Her family lives in the Zika zone and her two children attend school a block away from home.
“Mentally, the Zika is going through my mind 24/7. It’s like, ‘okay, do I go outside? Did I put my spray?’” Cabrera said. “You just have to get a routine every day like I do with my kids.”