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Aerial Pesticide Spray Adds To Zika Fears In Miami Beach

Santiago Nicolau
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

In Miami-Dade County, the only area in the United States confirmed to have mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, some residents say they'd rather be bitten than be exposed to droplets of chemicals sprayed from planes to kill the bugs. No assurances from health officials would calm some 200 people packing a Miami Beach City Commission meeting Wednesday.

Some argued the mild flu-like illness Zika causes in most people doesn't warrant aggressive pesticide use, even booing a doctor presenting evidence of Zika-related birth defects to city commissioners.

At issue is the use of naled, an insecticide sprayed since the 1950s for mosquito control in the U.S. It's currently being used in Miami Beach at levels deemed safe by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.