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Zika Virus Attacks 157 Pregnant Women In The US

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The Centers for Disease Control reports there are now 157 pregnant women in the United States that have tested positive for the Zika virus. Most people who are infected with the Zika virus experience only a mild and brief illness. However, pregnant women are much more at risk because infection can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe brain defects.

The Zika virus is primarily spread to people by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. It was first discovered in 1947 and was named after the Zika Forest in Uganda.

Of the 544 cases reported in the US, these people had all traveled out of the country or had sex with someone who did. There is no evidence that the virus is currently being spread in this country. Officials are concerned that the virus may start spreading here when the weather warms up and the mosquito populations grow. Three months ago, President Obama asked congress for $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat Zika. The House recently passed a bill for $622 million and the Senate has now approved a bill for $1.1 billion.

The White House says the House plan is inadequate but that they would accept the Senate compromise.

Meanwhile, President Obama has devoted almost $600 million to combat Zika. He got the funds from previous appropriations that were mostly leftover from the recent and successful effort to fight Ebola.

The Centers for Disease Control says that if you plan to travel, you should go to their website and check to see if the country you plan to go to has any travel health notices. They also recommend using condoms to help prevent the spread of this disease or to stop having sex.

Their website is packed with information and you can learn a lot of ways to help protect yourself from this horrible virus.