When it comes to Zika, it’s all about the money

Common backyard mosquitoes can spread several diseases. /PB Post Greg Lovett

While every Zika case generates a headline, the mosquito-borne virus linked to horrendous birth defect remains a political football.

It’s all about the money.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott won’t accept a penny for Medicaid expansion despite Floridians still without health care. He always bemoans federal spending.

But when it comes to Zika he has been more than willing to put his hand out.

Health News Florida is reporting Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell claim that the Republican Congress’ failure to fully fund the fight against Zika could slow down development of a vaccine.

Burwell, in Orlando, said Florida has been pledged $5.6 million in federal dollars to fight Zika. There is another $27 million in public health emergency funding is available to Florida, but without an authorization from Congress, that may be the end of it.

The Obama Administration asked Congress to approve for $1.9 billion dollars to combat Zika, which has been tied  to microcephaly in new borns — a condition where the head is smaller than normal and affects development.

Burwell’s concern also indicates how virus scares – be it Zika or Ebola or Avian Flu – not all of this taxpayer money is going into mosquito control. Some of it is being moved into the private sector.

Burwell said all the hand-wringing over funding is slowing private industry down in the development of a vaccine.

“We have moved all the money we can at this point, in terms of moving our money around to try and cover,” Burwell said, speaking to reporters at Orange County’s mosquito control headquarters. “We’re at a point when we need the resources. And very clearly, we will run out of money in our vaccine efforts.”

So far, all of Florida’s cases of Zika have been contracted through foreign travel, but the state is investigating two cases that may have been acquired locally in South Florida.

Read all of the Health News Florida story by clicking here.

So what is the world’s most dangerous animal?

Good, a media news publishing site, released a video recently with a question for us: What is the world’s most dangerous, deadliest creature?

Go ahead, think about it.

The world’s most poisonous is the box jellyfish, but its kill rate is pedestrian at less than 6,000 since 1955.

This cute little guy is considered the most poisonous animal on earth – but he isn’t the most deadly.


But what about the deadliest?

It’s man, right? Good guess, but even with an annual tally of 475,000, man isn’t No. 1 either.


Some animals considered super dangerous are not even close.

Sharks kill about 10 people a year. Crocodiles tally 1,000. Tapeworms, dogs, snakes and parasitic roundworms kill tens of thousands. Even the freshwater snail leads to more than 110,000 human deaths annually by passing on Schistosomiasis, a disease that bedevils Africa.

So have you come up with the world’s deadliest creature?

Guess what? It’s right now hanging out in your backyard.

Yep, it’s the mosquito, which recently has fostered the Zika epidemic after – of course – fostering the Michael Jackson Thriller of diseases, malaria.

It kills 725,000 people every year by sucking our blood and giving us malaria and other diseases it carries, according to Good’s video.

Meet the world’s most deadliest creature: the mosquito.

Good’s video listing the world’s most dangerous animals – including man – ending with our friend the mosquito can be viewed by clicking here .

You can also check out their other videos on their Facebook page here.