Revving Up for a Zika Virus Summer
The Zika virus just keeps spreading to more and more people, with no definite end in sight. The CDC recently reported that the virus has now spread to Cuba, with the virus being spread from local mosquitos to humans. The latest count of U.S. citizens with the Zika virus was 258 infections in 34 different states. Most of these were contracted abroad, but 6 were sexually transmitted. With this virus’s connection to serious brain defects in infants as well as neurological disorder developing in adults, the news of its inevitable spread to our country is not welcome. 18 of the Americans infected were pregnant women, who have now possibly passed along the virus to their unborn child.
Officials have analyzed weather patterns across the country as well as the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the virus in each state. The two most likely places the virus will spread to first in the U.S. are South Florida and South Texas. Both of these places have already suffered from the local spread of other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya. The spring storms could easily carry the Zika virus-carrying mosquitos close enough to our local ones that it would then spread to our mosquitos, and the wet weather will only encourage the mosquito population to grow and spread faster.
Do you think the Zika virus will spread into the U.S.? What are you doing to prepare?