SAINT LEO, FL – Concerns among Floridians about the Zika virus were constant for more than 70 percent of the population from August to September, according to a new survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (

The online poll, conducted online September 10 – September 16, shows concern about the Zika virus (very or somewhat concerned), at 77.4 percent is similar to 79.3 percent from the August 2016 poll. However, alarm about the virus has increased since Saint Leo’s poll in June 2016 (71.3 percent).

In a new development, a federal travel advisory was downgraded Monday, September 19, for a Miami-Dade County neighborhood. The Wynwood area of Miami-Dade had no new cases of the virus reported for 45 days so it met the Centers for Disease Control’s requirement to be declared “Zika free.” The state is approaching 100 locally transmitted cases of the mosquito-borne virus, according to the governor’s office.

“I thought that it was interesting that the percentage of Floridians concerned about Zika did not change in the last month,” said Dr. Cheryl Clauson, Saint Leo University assistant professor of biology. “Zika is still present in Miami Beach , even if the Wynwood area of Miami has seemingly been cleared.”

The Florida Department of Health said there were nine new travel-related cases on Wednesday, September 21, with two in Broward, two in Miami-Dade, two in Orange, and one in Brevard counties, and two involving pregnant women. On August 23, the day the last Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey was released, Gov. Rick Scott announced a non-travel related case of Zika was found in Pinellas County.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that Zika virus, which is spread through the […]