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Five Zika Updates

  1. The CDC issued a Zika travel warning in Miami where they are misting in targeted areas to prevent the reproduction of the disease carrying mosquitoes. There have been 16 locally confirmed cases and the Florida Department of Health is urging pregnant women to take precautions.
  2. Projecting the spread of Zika is much more difficult than viruses transmitted from person to person such as the flu or Ebola. The latest research from Northwestern University suggested that cases are under-reported because as much as 80% of people with the disease are asymptomatic. Read the full story here.
  3. The FDA approved genetically modified mosquitoes to fight the bite in Florida. This Oxitec mosquito is altered so that their offspring die before they can reproduce.  Trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands have shown that this can reduce the Aedes aegypti population by 90%.
  4. Scientist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are making progress in developing a vaccine that will fight the Zika virus in pregnant women.  Source: Washington University Zika virus has been passed from infected mother to fetus causing birth defects.
  5. The President requested emergency funding to fight Zika more than 165 days ago, but lawmakers left Washington in mid-July for a seven week recess without approving any of the $1.9 billion bill that would help develop a vaccine and control the mosquito population. Sen. Charles Schumer is urging congress to return for one day to approve the funding.