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The Zika Virus Continues to Spread, 30 US States at High Risk

The Zika Virus Continues to Spread, 30 US States at High Risk
April 13
20:21 2016

It’s has been alarming to watch the Zika Virus spread across the rest of the world. And it is all a matter of time before it is an epidemic in the US and according to health officials, this is going to happen sooner than later. The number of states with mosquitoes carrying the virus, have more than doubled. Now 30 states in the US are at a “high risk” of Zika transmission. This is going to only get worse as spring and summer, aka mosquito season continues.

The Zika Virus is spread through virus-carrying mosquitoes and can also be transmitted sexually. The symptoms of the virus are similar to the common cold. However, the virus causes devastating complications to pregnant women, causing birth defects in their offspring.

With that being said, this has escalated the funding battle on Capitol Hill. Last week, the administration announced that the leftover money from the fight against Ebola would be allocated to help fight the Zika Virus.

President Obama seeks to obtain a larger amount of emergency funding (1.9 billion,) but this has not been approved yet by Congress. He has received some push-back (specifically from mostly republican members) for this request since it has not gone through the normal funding request process. Not to mention, some members of Congress want a better understanding of where exactly this emergency funding will be going.

“It is inexcusable that the Republican majority’s failure to consider emergency supplemental funding to respond to the Zika Virus, forced the administration to redirect funding that is still needed to monitor and respond to the potential re-emergence of the deadly Ebola virus,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Until then, there is 589 million to spend on research on the Zika Virus and a possible vaccine. This will also help fund the needed emergency response teams to help limit the spreading of the virus.

Puerto Rico has had a hundreds of thousands of cases with hundreds of babies affected. Right now there are 672+ cases confirmed in the US and its territories, including 64 pregnant women.

Until the Zika Virus is under control, it is recommended to:

  • Not travel to areas with high volumes of mosquitoes. But if you must, stay inside in air-conditioned areas and vigilantly use mosquito repellent.
  • Wear mosquito repellent, specifically with the ingredients picaridin, IR 3535, DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves.
  • Exercise indoors instead of outdoors.

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Kerri Adams

Kerri Adams

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