Illinois receives $500000 federal grant to fight Zika virus

The Zika virus outbreak, which began in Brazil a year ago, has spread rapidly to several dozen countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $25 million to help 53 states, cities and territories protect Americans from the Zika virus infection and associated adverse health problems, including birth defects. The virus in pregnant women can cause birth defects, including microcephaly.

Within this context, it should be noted that to date, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health experts can not definitely indicate the chances that a pregnant woman infected with Zika virus, may have a newborn with microcephaly or other health complications. Someone who has sexual contact with a partner who in the three months before sexual contact was diagnosed with Zika virus infection or had traveled to an area with Zika transmission must wait a month to donate blood. As a result, the United States government is now referring to Zika Virus as a threat to public health. The illness itself is very mild, with the most common symptoms being low-grade fever, rash, red eyes and joint pain.

Many Florida families, including the McRaes, are taking the recommended steps to keep mosquitos away, but said they wanted even more protection by enlisting the help of professionals to spray their property for mosquitos. "It just goes to show you how much we still need to understand about the basic biology of this virus", - Aliota added.

But there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Zika cases since the beginning of 2016, with 97 reported across 10 provinces, after only five cases were reported on average each year since 2012. The child had recently traveled to a country where the virus is transmitted by a type of mosquito that isn't found here.

Illinois receives $500000 federal grant to fight Zika virus

"We can not over-emphasize that all men returning from where local transmission of Zika virus is known to occur, should adopt safer sexual practices or consider abstinence for at least four weeks after return", Dr. Williams-Rodriguez said.

Typically ponds and swampy areas that have a lot of life in them will not harbor mosquitoes. As the Zika virus continues to be one of the region's most pressing health concerns, Cayman has so far remain free of the virus but health officials are urging the public to remain vigilant.

President Barack Obama has complicated the issue by threatening to veto anything less than he asked for, a move that would effectively gut the effort to combat Zika. Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a Republican bill that would have provided $1.1 billion to fight the virus because of unrelated policy riders attached to the legislation, including provisions to prevent money going to the women's health clinics Planned Parenthood, and to allow the display of the Confederate flag at veterans' cemeteries.

And, when needed, the agency will test mosquitoes to see if they're infected.

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  • Ismael Montgomery