Fortunately, the stall on government funding has not stopped research and infection prevention efforts. In the hopes of providing funds for rapid response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued
$25 million in funds to state, city, and territorial healthcare departments.
With three US territories currently experiencing active Zika transmission
, and numbers totaling in the thousands, vector-control methods are being deployed en masse across all areas. In an effort to control Zika transmission in Puerto Rico, which currently has the highest number of cases among all US territories, federal agencies are encouraging island officials to commence aerial spraying
as a means of controlling the Aedes aegypti
population. This mosquito which not only transmits Zika, but also Dengue, Chikungunya, and West Nile Virus. The CDC is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come up with a mosquito-control plan for Puerto Rico.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated, “An integrated and comprehensive approach includes reducing places where mosquitoes lay eggs, keeping them out of houses, and reducing the populations of both larval and adult mosquitoes by treating areas with EPA-approved products.”
Infection with the Zika virus during pregnancy has been confirmed to cause several neurological impairments in fetuses. As a result, both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued travel warnings, recommending that pregnant women, women of childbearing age, or male sexual partners of these women (who can transfer the virus through semen) avoid areas with known active Zika virus transmission, or travel at their own risk.
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