We at Mr. Mister want to acknowledge the important advancements that were reached in 2016 in regards to the troubling Zika virus and its potential effects on the United States as a whole. For one, researchers officially confirmed the suspected link between Zika virus and microcephaly.
The virus itself first made its debut in the continental US with over 4,000 travel-related Zika virus cases and a total of 185 locally acquired Zika virus cases in 2016. Additionally, a federal Zika bill was also approved, and effective mosquito control efforts were increased and meticulously altered in order to focus on the dangerous mosquito-borne virus.
Sadly, many municipalities are still without a solid plan for dealing with a Zika outbreak in their own local communities. As the 2017 mosquito season quickly approaches, it is imperative for areas with conditions ripe for a Zika outbreak to have an effective plan in place.
Link confirmed between Zika virus contraction and birth defects
Over the past year, thousands of babies were born with the Zika-linked condition known as microcephaly, while most of these cases occurred in the South American countries of Columbia and Brazil.
The US experienced just over 30 documented cases of Zika-related birth defects in 2016. However, as previously suspected, it was not until April, 2016 that there was enough factual evidence for the Center of Disease Control to directly link Zika virus infection with this as well as other birth defects.
Microcephaly not the only condition caused by Zika
While microcephaly might be the most easily recognizable health condition attributed to the Zika virus, there are several other Zika-related developmental issues that could not be apparent until months or even years after a child has been born.
For instance, it has been widely speculated that Zika virus is linked to the autoimmune condition referred to as “Guillain-Barre Syndrome” (GBS).
Clinical trials began in the search for a Zika vaccine.
Because Zika threatens wealthier countries, including the US and Brazil, it’s no wonder why Big Pharma sees the potential to make billions by bringing the first effective Zika vaccine to the market.
This process itself is being fully expedited through the use of government grants, which are covering much of the potential vaccine’s initial research and development.
First Zika cases transmitted in the continental US occur in Texas and Florida
The first locally transmitted cases of the mosquito-borne virus were documented in Southern Texas and Southern Florida.
The transmission was attributed to a species of mosquitoes known as aedes aegypti, a species prominent in the State of Florida as well as across the Gulf Coast region. Heavy preparations were made in the areas that were more likely to be affected.
Congress approved a $1.1 billion Zika bill
Almost $400 million will be dedicated to Zika vaccine development, while an additional $400 million will go towards mosquito abatement.
In addition to these expenses, there will also be allocations for healthcare-related services, such as the treatment and testing of infants born with Zika-related complications.
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