zika

Gaps In Women’s Health Care May Derail Zika Prevention In Florida, Texas

Jun 14, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Mosquitoes bearing Zika — a virus that can cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant women — are expected to reach the United States as soon as this summer, with Florida and Texas likely to be among the hardest-hit states.

Women And The Zika Virus: Smart Questions And A Few Solid Answers

Jun 13, 2016
John Moore/Getty Images

Mosquitoes may be one of summer’s nuisances. But the ones carrying Zika, a virus that has spread through Latin America and could be transmitted in the United States this summer, are triggering public health warnings — especially among women of childbearing age — because of Zika’s propensity to cause birth defects.

Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are expecting an expensive fight against the mosquitoes that carry the Zika and dengue viruses.

Felipe Dana/Associated Press / Associated Press Photo

The World Health Organization says women who live in areas where Zika is spreading should consider delaying pregnancy, since there's no other sure way to avoid the virus' devastating birth defects.

Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, Leon County officials are asking the state for nearly $470,000 for a Zika emergency plan.

Much of the money would go to controlling mosquitos that carry the virus. The plan calls for monitoring and public education and, if necessary, door-to-door eradication, says storm water superintendent Glen Pourciau.

“We treat any containers that couldn’t be dumped out and dump out all those that can be dumped out and where appropriate we would do some fogging.”

Governor Rick Scott says Florida is doing its part to fight the spread of the Zika virus in the state. But he’s continuing the complaint that he’d like to see the Federal government do more. Scott spoke with a group of reporters Friday.

Congressional Delegation To Get Zika Update

Jun 9, 2016
WMFE

Florida's congressional delegation will hold a meeting next week in Washington to receive presentations about the Zika virus, with panelists expected to include Tom Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Senate voted Wednesday to move ahead with negotiations with the House on a measure to fund the government’s fight against the Zika virus.

The University of Florida

Professors from the University of Florida have developed a mosquito trap that they say could help prevent the spread of the Zika virus.  Professor Phil Koehler says the trap is proven to catch and kill mosquitoes but the public might not be able use it this summer because it’s awaiting federal approval. 

 

Jacksonville’s Mosquito Control Chief John Shellhorn says he’s surprised the city hasn’t had any Zika virus cases.

AP

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says that if Congress does not act now on Zika prevention funding, lawmakers may have to return to Washington later for an emergency vote.

North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham’s latest workday involved helping to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

Florida will experience a "disaster" with the Zika virus if federal authorities don't immediately provide money to help battle the virus, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.

The U.N. health agency says sexual transmission of Zika is more common than first thought. It is updating its advice to women who have been in areas hit by the virus, telling them to wait even longer to conceive.

Congress On Vacation With No Zika Plan Passed

May 30, 2016

Lawmakers and advocates are disappointed Congress is on vacation, leaving town without passing a Zika response plan.

Federal officials are all but certain there will be a Zika outbreak this summer.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, explained, “In the next couple of months as we approach the very active mosquito season, we project that we will see local outbreaks of Zika particularly in the Gulf Coast area around Florida Texas and other states.”

WMFE

Florida has less than half of the special traps that will be part of the frontline for detecting the Zika virus in mosquitoes because of a backlog at the manufacturer, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday.

Researchers Slowly Homing In On Risk Of Zika Birth Defect

May 26, 2016

As the international epidemic of Zika virus disease has unfolded and led to devastating birth defects for at least 1,300 children in eight countries, an agonizing question has persisted: What is the chance that an infected pregnant woman will have a baby with these defects?

Over the weekend, the number of Zika cases reported by The Department of Health that involve pregnant women in Florida quadrupled. Health experts say that’s not because of an increase in cases, but due to a change in the information the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is providing.

Alan Diaz / Associated Press Photo

A summer flu seemed to be sweeping through Rachel Heid's riverfront neighborhood. Pale and shaky, she left work with a fever. Neighbors had the same symptoms, and a contractor at her home felt so sick he went to the hospital.

Albuminarium

The number of pregnant women in Florida with the Zika virus climbed from nine to 36 following new federal guidelines outlining how the cases will be counted.

A British biotech company wants to release genetically modified mosquitos in Florida to slow the spread of the Zika virus. The fate of the program rests with the small community of Key Haven, and many residents are skeptical.

"It's up to you," said a 1945 public service announced aimed at Americans. Find "one of man's worst enemies" and "destroy their foxholes."

The video came from the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas (now known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And it was talking about a particular species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti — the very same mosquito in the news now. Back then, public health officials were mostly worried about dengue and yellow fevers.

While Congress fidgets over whether and how to pay for the fight against the Zika virus, state and local health departments are scrambling and slimming down.

That's because these front-line public health agencies have already seen their budgets chopped because of the debate.

House Passes $622 Million Bill To Fight Zika

May 19, 2016

House Republicans on Wednesday pushed through a $622 million bill to battle the Zika virus, setting up challenging negotiations with the Senate and the White House.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

The Zika pandemic has gotten people talking about mosquito control.

But humans aren’t the only ones affected by mosquito-borne diseases in South Florida.

It's official. Zika has come to Florida.

Four people caught the virus in a small neighborhood north of downtown Miami, Governor Rick Scott said Friday. That means mosquitoes in the neighborhood became infected with Zika and spread it.

There’s been a lot of talk about Zika this week and how Congress could help combat the mosquito-borne disease through funding. Florida Governor Rick Scott and other stakeholders even traveled to Washington D.C., hoping a deal could be struck to fund the effort. So far, there are a number of proposals already on the table, including a bipartisan effort by Florida’s two Senators.

A $1.1 billion deal may be on the table to help combat the Zika virus in Congress. But, it falls short of President Obama’s $1.9 billion request. Now, two Florida Senators say they’re working on a bipartisan deal that accomplishes that goal.

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