Update on the Zika plague

Update on the Zika plague August 3, 2016

The Center for Disease Control has issued a travel advisory warning people to stay away from Miami’s Wynwood district, an artsy area where the particular mosquito that carries the Zika virus is resisting efforts at eradication.  Fifteen people in the district have come down with Zika, which causes birth-defects in new-born babies.  This is the first time that the CDC has issued a travel advisory for the United States.

Scientists have proven the direct link between the virus and micro-encephaly, or extra small heads in babies.  The center of the plague is still Rio de Janeiro, where the world’s athletes and fans are assembling for the Olympics.  Despite efforts to allay concerns, experts say the danger of spreading the disease throughout the world is real.

From ‘Little ninja’: Zika-spreading mosquito puts up tough fight, Associated Press:

The mosquitoes spreading Zika in Miami are proving harder to eradicate than expected, the nation’s top disease-fighter said Tuesday as authorities sprayed clouds of insecticide in the ground-zero neighborhood, emptied kiddie pools and handed out cans of insect repellent to the homeless.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the mosquito-control efforts in the bustling urban neighborhood aren’t achieving the hoped-for results, suggesting the pests are resistant to the insecticides or are still finding standing water in which to breed.

“We’re not seeing the number of mosquitoes come down as rapidly as we would have liked,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Mosquito control experts said that’s no surprise to them, describing the Aedes aegypti mosquito as a “little ninja” capable of hiding in tiny crevices, sneaking up on people’s ankles, and breeding in just a bottle cap of standing water.

Fifteen people have become infected with Zika in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, officials said Tuesday. These are believed to be the first mosquito-transmitted cases in the mainland U.S., which has been girding for months against the epidemic coursing through Latin America and the Caribbean.

On Monday, the CDC instructed pregnant women to avoid the neighborhood, marking what is believed to be the first time in the agency’s 70-year history that it warned people not to travel somewhere in the U.S. The Zika virus can cause severe brain-related defects, including disastrously small heads.

 [Keep reading. . .]

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