Current information released by the U.S. Military states that 33 active-duty personnel and six family members have contracted the Zika virus while living abroad. A day later, an updated article from CBS stated 44 active-duty U.S. Military personnel have contracted the Zika virus including a pregnant woman. U.S. Military policy does allow female service members to move from an area where Zika is a threat.
The Zika virus is making global news as nations rush to prepare for its arrival. The Olympics begin this week at ground zero of the epidemic, Rio Brazil. Researchers have concluded that infection can result in babies born afflicted with microcephaly.
With almost 500,000 tourists expected at Rio for the Games tensions are high that tourists will become infected with the Zika virus, then travel home and spread it among the citizens of their nations.
This week, for the first time in the CDC’s history of 70 years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for a location in the continental United States. Miami Florida has found 15 cases of infection among its population living in one neighborhood, they believe are not travel-related. However, at the time of this writing there were 351 cases of Zika infection in Floridians, 55 of whom are pregnant women. The cases range through 29 counties all the way to the first coast of Jacksonville.
Four out of five people infected with the Zika virus display no symptoms. "With 40 million travelers to and from areas where Zika is actively circulating, many can come back who feel perfectly fine," Frieden said. "But the virus could be hitchhiking in their blood. That's why everyone who travels to one of those areas should use insect repellent for at least three weeks after they return."
The money to combat Zika is running out and Congress has failed to pass a funding bill before they left for vacation. With political parties adding riders to the original bill and the typical Washington compromise game putting results on the back burner, the American people wait and Floridians grow more and more nervous by the minute.
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