U.S. raises highest alert level over Zika virus

The Zika virus is spread through Aedes mosquitoes

U.S. raises highest alert level over Zika virus

In January the National Institutes of Health gave Zika virus high research priority, and the groundwork underway in UW-Madison has led to NIH support for studies using macaques, monkeys with physiology and immune systems similar to humans.

The blood supply is also being monitored closely.

He said the Health Ministry also has reached vaccine partnerships with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is looking to work with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline because of its role developing a vaccine against Ebola after a deadly outbreak in West Africa in 2014. Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not visit these areas.

Zika typically only causes mild symptoms in adults (and only one in five of those infected show symptoms at all!), but it's been associated with a devastating birth defect when pregnant women contract the virus - though doctors are still investigating the link.

The Zika virus is affecting large parts of Latin American and the Caribbean.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has joined Senators Al Franken, (D - Minn.) Bill Nelson, (D- Florida) and Johnny Isakson (R - Ga.) in introducing a bipartisan bill that would accelerate the development of a Zika vaccine. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, bites more frequently in hot weather.

The ministry said Brazilian researchers found the virus in the body of a 20-year-old woman in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, who died last April from respiratory problems.

"In sect repellent is a good way, long trousers, long sleeves when you can." said Fulbright, "We recommend that anyone who is traveling to any of the Zika affected countries, come to our travel clinics for recommended vaccines and for comprehensive travel information".

The Obama administration has asked Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika.

"The United States Congress has an important role to play, and we hope that they act quickly".

The WHO has declared the rise in Zika-linked birth defects an global emergency.

Citing privacy concerns, officials provided no other details about the patients, including whether they were pregnant or where they live.

The CDC is urging pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant not to travel to Zika-affected areas.

Some countries with Zika outbreaks are advising women not to get pregnant for the time being, not exactly a foolproof strategy.

Scientists have suspected that Zika could be transmitted sexually, and there have been scattered reports of similar occurrences in recent years.

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