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Zika Could Spread To Gulf States, As Spread Continues Warns US NIH

Update Date: Aug 23, 2016 10:38 AM EDT
Health Workers Test And Spray For Mosquitos As Texas Prepares For Zika Virus
Environmental health specialist Aaron Salazar points out an aegypti mosquito caught on a 'mosquito trap' on April 14, 2016 in McAllen, Texas. City workers are catching mosquitos and sending them to labs to test for Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. Health departments, especially in areas along the Texas-Mexico border, are preparing for the expected arrival of the Zika Virus, carried by the aegypti mosquito, which is endemic to the region. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced this week that Zika is the definitive cause of birth defects seen in Brazil and other countries affected by the outbreak. (Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)


Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health (NIH) has recently warned that Texas and Louisiana could be the next states affected with Zika virus outspread.

In the few weeks since the Zika virus carrying mosquitoes were discovered in US, the virus has spread from a small community in South Florida to South Beach, Miami's most popular tourist spots, reported the Washington Post.

The development caused Centers of Disease Control and Prevention authorities to announce that pregnant mothers should avoid the area.

Notably, Fauci, who is the director of Institute of Allergy and  Infectious Diseases mentioned that the situation will very likely turn worse soon.

He also went on to say that he would not be surprised if he sees cases of Zika virus infection in Texas and Louisiana, especially where the flood has occurred in Louisiana. He said that getting rid of the standing water can be a serious problem for everyone.

Unfortunately, the infection of the Zika virus has reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus might be responsible for birth defects in thousands of babies and for some adults suffering from acute neurological conditions.

Although the United States have been spared from this outbreak previously, yet now, even US residents suffer the risk of being infected with the Zika virus.

This month, federal researchers announced that they had begun their first clinical trial of a vaccine in humans. It will involve at least 80 healthy volunteers. However, even in the best-case scenario, it could be a long time before an effective vaccine is available to the public. 

Considering the timeline, it is anticipated that the Zika virus vaccines will be available in early 2017. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has undertaken a massive mosquito - eradication campaign since the beginning of 2016.

Thus, it seems that Florida and Miami might be able to get rid of at least a part of the virus causing mosquitoes if not all.



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