On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Tom Frieden, made a “plain truth” statement regarding Zika and the future of the disease.
“Zika and other diseases spread by Aedes aegypti,” he said, “are really not controllable with current technologies.”
At the moment, the CDC has upgraded its Zika-related health advisory for Florida. The CDC now argues that there’s a risk Zika will continue to spead in Miami. And the agency is now advising pregnant women to avoid areas in Miami-Dade county where the virus is highly contagious.
Currently, more than 110 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika in Florida. Miami Beach police officers also revealed they contracted the Zika virus while on duty. In addition, the first reported Zika birth defect was reported in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico health secretary Ana Rius announced in a statement that the baby was born with severe brain defects as well as problems with hearing and vision.
Zika virus is caused by mosquitos and travelers who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should consult a doctor. In most cases, there are no symptoms but, the biggest risk is for pregnant women. The Zika virus causes microcephaly and other birth defects. The CDC reports that if the current rate of local transmission continues, nearly 24 percent of people will become pregnant.
Newly released studies examining Zika have also revealed that the virus may also be affecting fertility in men. Studies done on mine found that the Zika virus attacked cells critical to sperm and sex hormone production in men. However, this is an early study and scientists argue that more research needs to be done to determine if the Zika virus affects human beings the same way it affects mice.
Dr. Friedman announced that there is a lot to be done to protect and help people from contracting the Zika virus.
“Researchers are discovering more about Zika virus every day — and there is much more still to be learned. But this will take time and it will take additional funding, which Congress has yet to provide. In the meantime, we can’t wait. It is critical to act now to protect expectant moms.”