Zika virus

 

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.

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.

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.

Florida blood centers are shipping blood to Puerto Rico because of concerns about transmitting Zika virus from transfusions. A plan is in place if Florida starts seeing locally-caught Zika virus.

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.

  

A genetically engineered mosquito could stop the Zika virus from spreading. 

Florida is up to 50 cases of Zika virus, including six in Central Florida.

Scientists are trying to understand whether and how the Zika virus might be causing birth defects. Now researchers at Florida State University in collaboration with Johns Hopkins, say their work has moved a step closer to determining if there is a link between the virus and microcephaly.

CDC: Zika Infections Confirmed In 9 Pregnant Women In US

Feb 29, 2016
James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Zika infections have been confirmed in nine pregnant women in the United States, including one who gave birth to a baby with a rare birth defect, health officials said Friday.

Three pregnant Florida women have contracted the Zika virus, according to the Florida Department of Health. Researchers are studying possible links between Zika in pregnant women and birth defects in babies.

2 More U.S. Cases Of Zika Virus Likely Shared Via Sex

Feb 23, 2016

Health officials announced Tuesday that they are investigating 14 new U.S. cases of possible sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

The virus was confirmed to be in blood samples from two women, using a method that detects pieces of the virus' genetic material, say doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obama Sends Congress $1.9B Request To Combat Zika Virus

Feb 23, 2016
WMFE

President Barack Obama Monday sent lawmakers an official $1.9 billion request to combat the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America and the U.S.

There are 26 travel-related Zika cases in Florida, according to the latest information from the Florida Department of Health.

Central Florida is now up to three Zika cases. The virus has shown up in Brevard, Osceola and Orange counties. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Brevard County’s first Zika case. The virus was caught while traveling to Haiti.

Two weeks ago, Jenny Tolosa found out she was pregnant.

The 23-year-old had no idea. "I didn't have any symptoms," she says. "I totally didn't expect this." She giggles, because she was excited by the news.

But she was also worried. She says her first thought was, "I think I had Zika last December!"

That's the mosquito-borne virus that's spreading through Latin America — and has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head and possible brain damage.

CDC Briefs Florida Doctors As Zika Cases Rise

Feb 15, 2016
WMFE

Amid an increase of travel-related Zika cases in Florida, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention briefed Florida health care providers on the virus.

Study Finds Zika Virus In Fetal Brain, A Clue In Outbreak

Feb 11, 2016
Susan Walsh/Associated Press

New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect pregnant women until they can develop a vaccine.

CDC Sends Zika Test Kits To Florida

Feb 10, 2016
Lottie Watts/WUSF / WUSF

Federal health officials have sent the state of Florida an additional 950 kits to test for viral antibodies in people who have shown Zika symptoms after traveling to affected countries.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office released a statement Tuesday saying none of the 16 Zika cases confirmed in Florida were contracted in the state, and none involve pregnant women.

When Carolyn Coyne's lab at the University of Pittsburgh recently tried to order a sample of Zika virus from a major laboratory supplier, they were told it was out of stock.

"They are actually back-ordered until July for the virus," Coyne says. "At least that's what we were told." She ended up obtaining Zika from another source, and it arrived at her lab Tuesday.

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