What's Zika? Five Questions About the Virus Pitting the White House Against Congress

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:43 AM

Where did Zika virus arrive from? Zika was first noticed in Africa, in Uganda'south Ziika forest (yes it'south spelled with two i's) in one thousand nine hundred forty-seventh.

What's Zika? Five Questions About the Virus Pitting the White House Against Congress

Presently that the White House has surrendered to the Republican-led Congress and taken half a billion dollars from other projects to fight the Zika virus, here'south some things to know about the mosquito-borne illness.

Where did Zika virus arrive from?

Zika was first noticed in Africa, in Uganda'south Ziika forest (yes it'south spelled with two i's) in one thousand nine hundred forty-seventh. It spread slowly at first, and seemed to be a beautiful harmless virus, causing hardly any symptoms at all in most people. But it picked up speed in around two thousand seven when it started spreading in the S Pacific and it showed up in Brazil in two thousand-thirteenth, according to the latest research. Because hardly anyone in the Americas has immunity to Zika, it'south spread explosively since then.

What does it do to people?

Most people barely notice they've an infection. It causes a hasty in about ninety % of people who notice it, along with headaches, muscle aches and fever. It'south also clear that it can cause birth defects. When a pregnant woman gets infected, the virus can obtain into the developing fetus, damaging the brain and causing a condition called microcephaly in which the head is too small. It'south also clear it causes other types of brain and nerve damage and can cause babies to miscarry or die at birth.

The World Health Organization says it'south also nearly certain the Zika virus, love others, can cause Guillan-Barre syndrome, a paralyzing condition that generally isn't permanent but which can disable people for months or years. It may also cause other nerve damage, including a brain inflammation called encephalitis.

How does Zika spread?

Mostly by mosquitoes - specifically, the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that prosper in tropical zones. They're called the "cockroach of mosquitoes" because they like to live interior people'south houses, prosper in squalor and are really tough to kill. Female Aedes mosquitoes can sip blood from a roomful of people, and if one or more of them is infected, she'll pass the virus to everyone.

The virus is also sexually transmitted, which is why the Centers for Sickness Control and Prevention cautions people to utilize condoms after they've been to a Zika-affected zone. Pregnant women whose sex partners have been in an affected area necessity to utilize a condom for the whole time they're pregnant, because number one'south sure how long the virus can stay in a man'south semen.

The virus is also found in urine and saliva, but it'south unclear if it spreads that way. Scientists have debunked the notion that insecticides or genetically engineered mosquitoes are causing the problems accused on Zika.

Will Zika arrive to the U. S.?

It already has. The CDC says near to seven hundred people have been infected, mostly travelers from affected regions. PR is the worst hit because it's the Aedes mosquitoes year circular and also has a lot of poverty. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are very common in S Florida, S TX and the Gulf coast but they're found in summer as distant N as San Francisco, KS City and New York, so all those areas can expect at minimum tiny local outbreaks in the summer.

More than forty million people arrive back and forth from Zika-affected areas every year so CDC experts declare many of them are likely to bring the virus with them. But they declare outbreaks should be limited, because Americans utilize air-conditioning and screens - both of which stymie the mosquitoes. Nonetheless, executive are urging excellent mosquito control measures and declare people should defend themselves from bites with clothing, repellants such as DEET, insecticides and by staying indoors.

Will there be a lot of babies with birth defects?

There already are. Brazil has recorded more than 4.000 cases of microcephaly in the past few months. There'south a documented case of a U. S. baby born in HI with microcephaly whose mother had Zika while pregnant. Several babies that miscarried or were aborted because of severe brain defects also have been shown to have Zika in their bodies.

Why does the White House wish so much money for Zika?

The White House has asked Congress for $1.9 billion for the Zika fight. The National Institutes of Health wants money to expand a vaccine, to see for better tests for Zika and to work on treatments for the virus. The CDC wants money to figure out just how many pregnant women have been infected, whether it matters what stage of pregnancy a woman is in, and what percentage of pregnant women who obtain infected will finish up with affected babies. States wish money to assistance eradicate mosquitoes and to prepare hospitals to deal with Zika patients. And the Health and Human Services Dept says babies born with birth defects will necessity millions of dollars in care.

Conservatives in Congress declare the money should arrive from elsewhere because taxpayers are already overburdened, but CDC, NIH, HHS and the White House declare there really isn't any leftover money anywhere. They declare money allocated for Ebola is already spoken for and needed to construct up health systems in developing countries so that yet another virus doesn't arrive seemingly out of the blue to infect people around the world, including in the U. S.

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