People, Travel

Tourists Unfazed by Miami Zika Scare

Tourists Unfazed by Miami Zika ScareTourists Unfazed by Miami Zika Scare

US officials might be highly worried about the spread of Zika to Miami’s South Beach. But on Saturday morning following Friday’s announcement that five local cases of Zika had spread to Miami-Dade’s most popular tourist destination, visitors seemed largely unconcerned about the mosquito-borne virus.

“It doesn’t scare me,” said Henk Wals, who was on the sixth day of a visit from the Netherlands with his friend, Tine Sierunk, as they sat down to their coffee at an outdoor table at a local cafe. Neither was wearing insect repellent.

“The chances are slim. The danger is mostly to pregnant women and we are not pregnant and not planning to be.”

Local Zika cases in South Florida began in Wynwood late last month, then moved over to South Beach with five new cases stemming from a zone bordered by 8th Street to 28th Street, from Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, state health department officials said on Friday.

There are now 36 Zika infections spread by mosquitoes in Florida, mostly in Miami-Dade County, according to the Miami Herald.

Carl and Julie Green, of Great Britain, strolling along Lincoln Road with their 12-year-old daughter, Demi, had heard the news the night before, but shrugged off the fact that Zika had crossed the bay from Wynwood.

“How do you stop it from getting here?” Carl Green said. “You can’t put a big mosquito net in the sky.”

Alla Intezar, squinting in the morning sun on Lincoln Road, also took a practical view.

“Of course, everybody’s worried,” said Intezar, who had gotten off a cruise to the Bahamas the night before, along with husband Russ and children Christina, 16, and Aryan, 12.

“But what are they going to do? Close the beach? If they can kill Ebola, they can kill this, too.”