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Zika virusZika virus “scarier than we initially thought”: U.S. health officials

Published 12 April 2016

Dr. Anne Schuchat from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the Zika virus is more of a threat than previously thought. Speaking at a White House press conference, she said there was potential for the virus to spread to more U.S. states than experts first believed. “Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring. Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” she told reporters.

Warnings about are appearing everywhere // Source: nd.edu

Dr. Anne Schuchat from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the Zika virus is more of a threat than previously thought.

Speaking at a White House press conference, she said there was potential for the virus to spread to more U.S. states than experts first believed. Dr. Schuchat told reporters: “Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring. Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought.”

USA Today reports that according to the latest CDC report, there have been 346 confirmed cases of Zika confirmed in the continental United States, all involved carriers who had recently visited a Zika-affected country, or individuals with whom the carrier came into contact.

Of these cases, thirty-two were pregnant women and seven were sexually transmitted.

Specialists say Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. This species of mosquito is present in thirty U.S. states. There is currently no known cure or vaccine for Zika.

President Obama has asked Congress for $1.9 billion to deal specifically with the crisis before the weather warms up.

Until Congress approves the request, the federal government is using money left in the Ebola virus fund, which totaled $589 million.

Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseasesaid: “This is a very unusual virus that we can’t pretend to know everything about.

I’m not an alarmist… but the more we learn about the neurological aspects, the more we look around and say this is very serious.

What I’ve done is take money from other areas of non-Zika research to start. We couldn’t just stop and wait for the money.

When the president asked for $1.9 billion, we needed $1.9 billion,” he said.