So the bad news on the Zika virus is that that the United States is likely to see an outbreak. But Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells the news service Reuters it will be limited to perhaps dozens of people
So far the U.S. has about 350 cases of people who were infected abroad and then returned to the country. There has not been a native case of the disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito in North America yet.
For most people with Zika experience fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. But when the outbreak was first detected in Brazil last year, the concern has been with thousands of cases of microcephaly, a typically rare birth defect marked by unusually small head size which often indicates poor brain development.
The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency in February.
“It is likely we will have what is called a local outbreak,” Fauci said on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
Some Florida counties are gearing up by adding staff to mosquito control staff, Health News Florida
Orange County, for instance, wants to add 10 seasonal full-time workers to respond to calls, according to Health News Florida.
Fauci had more bad news for us by saying that other neurological ailments could be eventually linked to Zika, which he called “disturbing.”
“There are only individual case reports of significant neurological damage to people not just the fetuses but an adult that would get infected. Things that they call meningoencephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and the covering around the brain, spinal cord damage due to what we call myelitis,” he said. “So far they look unusual, but at least we’ve seen them and that’s concerning.”
So, whether it’s just a few cases or not, get ready dear readers for the Summer of Zika.