Washington (health warning) – As winter in the United States comes to an end and temperatures begin to rise, so to comes the annual boom of blood sucking creatures feasting on humanity. Multiple health reports have been released and preliminary estimates all but guarantee the spread of Zika into North America in 2016. As of March 30th no one in the United States has become locally infected but early indicators suggest Zika infected mosquitoes could spread as far north as Minnesota, as far west as California and as far east as Maine – essentially the entire United States minus the pacific northwest.

Estimated Range of Zika Infected Mosquitoes 2016 – CDC.gov

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Last February President Obama tried to take a pro-active approach by asking Congress for a 1.9 billion dollar grant to fight the spread of Zika in Latin American countries before it could spread north. However with the current gridlock, national debt at all time levels and tensions running high in an election season, the GOP controlled Congress declined to act upon the request.

Nearly 8 weeks later now the President seems to have found a solution agreeable to Republicans and Democrats alike. Since 2014 the United States has raised 5.4 million dollars to fight the spread of Ebola in western Africa with nearly 2.7 billion dollars of this money currently ‘left over’/unspent. With many Americans now fearing the spread of Zika within their own boarders and the fight against Ebola considered a general success, priorities are beginning to shift. As of April 5, 2016 President Obama has agreed to transfer approximately 600 million dollars from the emergency Ebola fund the Center for Disease Control to combat the immanent rise of Zika in the USA.

Florida and Texas, the two states highest at risk of infection will be receiving a larger portion of the funds comparatively to other states. The remained of the money will generally be spread around other states and Latin American countries to develop vaccines, treat infected individuals and stop the spread of the disease. In a recent statement on the matter President Obama was quoted as saying

as all of you have read, the possible connection between Zika, birth defects and other serious health problems means that we’ve got to take precautions, particularly with respect to women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. So we’re going to be fighting this disease at every level with every tool at our disposal including research into better diagnostic tools, new vaccines, improved methods of mosquito control, and support for Puerto Rico and territories where there are confirmed cases.  And we’re going to be launching an aggressive coordinated campaign with the NGA to stop Zika at the source and keep Americans healthy.

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WhiteHouse.gov – Zika Press Release

We all have to remain vigilant when it comes to combatting the spread of diseases like Zika. We are going to make sure that each at-risk state – particularly those in the South – has the resources to do so.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a summit of nation-wide leaders designated by governors to make sure the best information and practices for addressing Zika are reaching local communities across the country. This broad coalition will create action plans to empower communities by providing resources to:

  • Understand Zika’s transmission and identify at-risk communities
  • Rapidly detect the spread of Zika and respond to cases
  • Provide clear, timely public health information on the effects and spread of Zika.

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Source: anonhq.com

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