By: Serennah Thomas and Ashley Nelson
Have you heard about the new virus in town that can be deadly if symptoms aren’t managed?
Obama recently asked congress for 1.9 billion dollars to battle the Zika virus in Latin America and the U.S. He’s wanting to use funding from the 2014 Ebola case to fight against Zika. Obama stated that the $1.9 billion he is requesting would include investments in research into new vaccines and better diagnostic tools, and more support for Puerto Rico and territories where there are confirmed cases. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared before a Congressional panel earlier this month to lobby for Zika funding.
There is no vaccine for this virus. The symptoms include rashes, fever, joint pain, and red eyes; according to foxnews13.com and CDC, symptoms last between 7-10 days. The best way to avoid this virus is to avoid being bit by mosquitos. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime and mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
The Zika epidemic began in Brazil, where there has been more than 4,100 suspected or confirmed cases of microcephaly which is a birth defect in new born babies causing them to have small heads and often involves brain damage.
On January 22, 2016, Center for Disease Control (CDC) activated its Incident Management System and, working through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), centralized its response to the outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and increased reports of birth defects and Guillain-Barre syndrome in areas affected by Zika.
Currently in Florida there are 28 cases that have been reported in Miami Dade, Hillsborough and Orange County. As of February 24, 2016, it was reported that 3 Florida pregnant women had contracted the disease, bringing the total cases in Florida to 32. As of April 15, 2016 the Zika virus is spreading and more and more children are having birth defects because of these mosquito bites that women are coming into contact with and then conceiving. According to The New York Times, some infectious-disease experts believe that avoiding pregnancy during the coming mosquito season is the only way to prevent the birth defect microcephaly. It is said for most to not get pregnant until the Zika virus has slowed down its course to make sure that your unborn child does not have defects.