The weather the past few years has been historically unpredictable similar to the way a tornado touches down without any warning in a stormy sky.
Scientists and Democrats will obviously point to human-caused climate change as the reason why the last several years have been so hot, but with the rising temperatures in the U.S., this deadly virus might make a comeback.
And it is a serious issue.
The Washington Times reports:
“Rising U.S. temperatures are forcing federal and state officials to gird for yet another bout with Zika, the mosquito-borne disease that triggered unprecedented travel warnings to pregnant women and sent sales of bug-repellent soaring before fading from view over the winter.
After dire warnings from some quarters last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it won’t try to guess how many cases the U.S. will see this year, though the agency says “small pockets of transmission” similar to the flare-ups in Florida and Texas last year are likely.
The agency said its warning about future transmission isn’t limited to those two states, however, since Zika’s main vector — the Aedes aegypti mosquito — roams beyond their borders, reaching most of the southern U.S.
‘Mosquito-borne disease outbreaks are difficult to predict,’ CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said. ‘There will be future outbreaks, including large ones, as well as years with reduced transmission, but it is impossible to know when or where these transmission patterns will occur.’
States that combatted Zika firsthand in 2016 have been particularly vocal about leveraging available resources to beat back the disease this time around.
Health officials in Texas this month said pregnant women in six counties near the Mexican border should be tested for the virus during their first and second trimesters, even if they haven’t traveled to a Zika-affected area abroad or experienced symptoms.
Previously, the state only advised pregnant women in the town of Brownsville to get tested no matter what.
It also said anyone in those counties should now get tested if they have a rash or at least one other Zika symptom, such as fever, joint pain or red eyes, saying new funding from Congress helped them boost their lab capacity and surveillance in 2017.”
Zika is especially dangerous to pregnant women and their babies, which has been known to cause birth defects.
Both sexes would be wise to stay away from Zika areas if they have future plans of procreating.
In the 2016 Summer Olympics, some American athletes refused to participate in Rio de Janeiro because of the city’s problems with mosquitoes and the virus.
But Florida might also become a potential danger zone as well.
The Washington Times continued:
“In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is conducting round-tables to alert county officials to state resources and make sure the virus is “top of mind” as another summer approaches.
New federal funding and scientific advances allowed the state to expand its lab capacity and test for Zika in a way that clearly separates it from related viruses, the state health department said.
Zika was a relatively obscure virus before it hopscotched to the Americas in 2015 and burst into the headlines early last year, when scientists found an unprecedented link between an insect-borne disease and birth defects.
The most recognizable one is microcephaly, in which infants have abnormally small heads. A bitter dispute over federal funding to combat the disease generated even more headlines before Congress rallied around a $1.1-billion fund late last year, just about the time that an intense presidential election and dropping temperatures pushed the Zika threat off the front pages.
But spring has sprung again, and officials are warning pregnant women and others to cover up, use bugspray and toss standing water from flower pots, bird baths and other areas where mosquitos can breed.
The CDC expects fewer cases in Puerto Rico this year, but only because the island was hit so hard last year, meaning a significant portion of the population will have developed immunity from infection.”
Zika still remains a global threat, and in many countries it’s more severe.
So if you live near the Gulf of Mexico, make sure you light your citronella candles and carry a can of OFF! with you wherever you go.