zika

  

  Pinellas County has its first reported case of Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health said on Monday.

Mosquito Season Brings No Urgency For Money To Fight Zika

May 9, 2016
Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press / Associated Press Photo

The White House and Democrats are pressuring congressional Republicans to act on President Barack Obama's demands for money to combat Zika, but even the onset of mosquito season that probably will spread the virus has failed to create a sense of urgency.

Bio-tech company Oxitec wants to use genetically modified mosquitos to stop the spread of the Zika virus. Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is calling for support of the plan.

Major League Baseball says it is moving a two-game series later this month from Puerto Rico to Miami due to players' concerns about the Zika virus.

NPR's Greg Allen tells our Newscast unit that the series pitting the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Miami Marlins was meant to honor Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente, who was from Puerto Rico. Here's more from Greg:

Rattikankeawpun (freedigitalphotos.net)

Florida agriculture officials are distributing mosquito traps to areas that lack surveillance for the species that carries the Zika virus.

Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services held workshops in seven counties over the last two weeks for mosquito control and health officials.

At least two Florida Republicans in Congress have broken with their party and are calling on the GOP leadership to approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat, said her fellow Floridians, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep.Vern Buchanan, understand the virus is a threat to the state’s top industry – tourism.

Florida's governor says the U.S. government needs to prepare for the Zika virus like it's a hurricane.

 

Gov. Rick Scott was in Fort Myers on Friday, talking about Zika virus preparations in the state. Zika is linked to deformities in unborn babies. It’s a mosquito-borne virus, but Florida’s more than 90 cases are so far only travel-related. The governor said he’s ready for the possibility of Zika-infected mosquitoes to cross over state lines.

WMFE

Puerto Rico announced Friday that it has recorded the first Zika-related U.S. death amid an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus in the U.S. territory.

While Florida has about a quarter of the almost 400 reported cases of Zika in the United States, no one has been infected in Florida. But that's not stopping local public health experts from advising people to protect themselves.

Billy Ryan visits Roy's Trailer Park on Florida's Stock Island every two months. It's part of his regular rounds as an inspector for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

"Hey, I'm just checking on the yards for the mosquito control," he tells one resident, Marie Baptiste, as he heads into her yard. "OK?" No problem, she tells him.

AP

Players from the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates have expressed concerns about their two-game series next month in Puerto Rico because of the Zika virus.

Sen. Nelson Calls For More Zika Funding

Apr 21, 2016

Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is calling on Congress to approve Zika response funding.

The Zika virus has prompted Orange and Seminole counties to add mosquito control staff.

The news is constantly changing about the Zika virus. Federal funding and prevention efforts have been a huge part of the discussion this week. And, with Florida leading the nation with close to 90 cases of the mosquito-borne disease, the state’s congressional leaders say it’s even more crucial that something is done.

Abe Aboraya / Health News Florida

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said places where Zika virus is being caught locally should not accept blood donations until there’s a test.

And just like that, the island commonwealth of Puerto Rico was in a pinch, needing to look elsewhere. Orlando-based OneBlood was one of three blood bank networks in the U.S. helping out.

Highlighting Florida State University’s research efforts, North Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is calling on Congress to fully fund similar home grown efforts to combat the Zika virus.

After months of hesitation, U.S. health officials now say that the Zika virus is indeed the cause of severe brain damage in the infants of some women who were infected with the virus during pregnancy.

A CDC review published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine describes evidence of what U.S. health officials now call a causal relationship between the virus and a severe form of microcephaly and intracranial calcifications.

The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials say, as they urge more money for mosquito control and development of vaccines and treatments.

While the FDA has released a preliminary finding of no significant impact from a proposed test of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, many in the neighborhood where the test would take place are opposed to the plan.

Oxitec, the company that makes the genetically modified version of aedes aegypti, is holding two public meetings in Key West this week to answer questions from the public, especially those in Key Haven. That neighborhood, a peninsula about five miles from Key West, is the proposed testing site.

COURTESY BRAZILIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Brazil’s Ministry of Health has come up with quite the catchy Zika virus tune.

State health officials reported three new cases of the Zika virus in Florida, one of them a pregnant woman.

David Goldman/Associated Press / Associated Press Photo

The government urged health officials around the country Friday to get ready now in case there are outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the U.S. this summer.

Arnulfo Franco/Associated Press / Associated Press Photo

Federal health officials are granting use of an experimental test to screen blood donations for Zika virus, an emergency step designed to protect local blood supplies from the mosquito-borne virus.

Officials: Zika-Infected Couples Should Postpone Pregnancy

Mar 28, 2016

Federal health officials on Friday issued first-time guidance for couples planning a pregnancy if either partner may have been exposed to Zika, the tropical disease linked to birth defects.

It's just before dawn in Piracicaba, a small city in southeastern Brazil, when a large white van pulls over to the side of the road. A door slides open, revealing stacks of crates jammed with plastic pots. Each pot is buzzing with mosquitoes.

"There's about 1,000 mosquitoes in each of those pots," says Guilherme Trivellato, who works for Oxitec, a biotech company that owns the van. All together, there are more than 300,000 mosquitoes swarming inside those pots.

"That's how many we're going to release today," he says.

As scientists struggle to understand the threat posed by Zika virus, there's another viral infection that's a known danger in pregnancy and that harms 100,000 babies a year, even though it has been preventable with a vaccine since 1969.

The disease is rubella, or German measles. Like Zika, the rubella virus often causes either a mild rash or no symptoms at all.

Matthew Peddie/WMFE / WMFE

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill encouraging companies to develop a Zika vaccine.

Companies that develop a Zika vaccine would get fast-track FDA approval of their next venture in the future. That would be done through a voucher program.

A field trial releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys would not harm humans or the environment, according to documents released Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Things To Know About GMO Mosquito Test Proposed In Florida

Mar 15, 2016
Andre Penner, File / AP Photo

The spread of the Zika virus in Latin America is giving a boost to a British biotech firm's proposal to deploy a genetically modified mosquito to try to stop transmission of the disease.

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