Zika

Mix-Up Leaves Pregnant Woman In Dark About Zika Risk

Jun 21, 2017

Hospital officials in Washington state have apologized after failing for months to inform a pregnant woman she was likely infected with the Zika virus that can cause devastating birth defects.

Zika In America: One Mother’s Saga

Jun 13, 2017

When her daughter was born at Providence St. Peter Hospital in January, the first thing Maria Rios checked was the baby’s head.

She’d seen the terrifying photos on the internet — infants in Brazil and in Puerto Rico whose skulls were misshapen, even collapsed, ravaged by the Zika virus that has engulfed Latin America.

Zika may have fallen from headlines, especially with everything going on in politics these days, but the threat remains.

And recommendations for pregnant women haven't changed: Pregnant women — and those trying to get pregnant — should not travel to places where the Zika virus is circulating.

It's just too risky because Zika can cause birth defects.

But what about babies? Or kids? Is it safe to travel with them?

Florida scientists have developed a new test for Zika that would produce results in less than an hour.

And the test can detect the Zika virus in the blood of humans or mosquitoes.

Zika is a scary virus because of the terrible birth defects it can cause. Now scientists have a clearer sense of the size of that risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 2,549 pregnant women with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017. The CDC found that 122 of these women — about 5 percent — gave birth to babies with birth defects such as small heads (known as microcephaly).

Associated Press

The pesticide widely used to fight Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Florida and across the nation has been linked to deficits in motor functions in Chinese babies, according to a new study.

Mosquito Control: Tips for the Rainy Season

Jun 1, 2017
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Drain and cover. That's the message Miami-Dade County mosquito control specialists want the public to hear. 

Mosquitos can lay more than 100 eggs at a time, and they do so in standing water. Even a bottle cap of water is big enough.

Mosquitos can carry the West Nile virus and the Zika virus, among other things. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information on how Sanofi Pasteur was chosen as the company to license the Zika vaccine.

The U.S. Army is planning to grant an exclusive license to the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. to manufacture and sell a Zika vaccine the Army developed last year.

And that has Rebekah Gee, Louisiana's secretary of health, worried about paying for it.

Last year's Zika outbreak in Miami likely started in the spring of 2016, with the virus introduced multiple times before it was detected, researchers say. And most of those cases originated in the Caribbean.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last summer’s wave of local transmission of the Zika virus hasn’t yet bled into 2017 , but officials from Key West to West Palm Beach are gearing up for another round of mosquito control by creating new staff positions, adding more equipment and increasing outreach efforts.

Miami-Dade County plans to hire a full-time entomologist in its increasingly costly fight against the Zika virus.

Funding For State-Level Zika Tracking May End Soon

May 1, 2017

Money that has helped states with Zika tracking and education may end by this summer, putting at risk efforts to better understand the mostly mosquito-borne virus and the devastating birth defects associated with it.


Associated Press

Here we go again.

A Senate panel approved a bill that authorizes an additional $100 million in grant funding to fight the mosquito-carrying Zika virus. The bill could now be voted on by the full Senate before summer begins, but only if Congress doesn’t repeat last year’s delay that saw the money tied up by political wrangling for months.

The money approved Tuesday would fund local mosquito-control efforts, centers that test for the virus and research into improving mosquito-control programs.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

As the rainy season returns to South Florida and the fight against Zika gears up, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Tuesday began a first-in-Florida trial of a control method that uses bacteria to reduce mosquito populations.

The district will release 20,000 male mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria twice a week for the next 12 weeks. The releases will take place in a 10-acre test site on Stock Island,  and mosquito traps there will be compared with a similar-sized control area nearby (but separated by a buffer).

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