It looks like Zika-infected mosquitos have finally made their way to the U.S. Four people who live in the Miami-Dade and Broward counties of Florida came down with the Zika virus in early July, and they all contracted it locally, most likely from mosquito bites.
"These are the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in the continental United States," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news briefing Friday. "As we have anticipated, Zika is now here."
Although the Zika virus isn't usually dangerous for most people, it can be devastating for the fetus of a pregnant women. But for now the CDC says that because of aggressive measures to control these mosquitos, they don't expect a widespread transmission of the virus. Still, pregnant women in Florida should take precautions.
"We know this virus is most detrimental to expecting mothers," he [Florida Gov. Rick Scott] said. "If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant and live in the impacted area, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit. I also ask every Floridian to take proper precautions by eliminating any standing water and wearing insect repellent."
A woman in San Diego, CA is reported to have contracted the Zika virus through sexual transmission.
After almost two months of an Ebola-free Liberia, the deadly disease has reared its head again. And officials fear there may be a new way of contracting it. Three cases have popped up in the last twelve days, in the village of Nedowein, 30 miles from Liberia's capital, and no one knows how the victims were infected. The first victim was a 17-year-old boy who died on Sunday. The other two victims from the same village, ages 24 and 27, are in stable condition. None of the three had visited countries still infected with Ebola, which adds mystery to this new round of Ebola.
"An Ebola case being reported in the middle part of Liberia is confusing," said Adolphus Gbinee, Memaigar's uncle. "We do not have cases at our borders, not even in Monrovia. How could Ebola jump over those places and come here in Nedowein?"
One theory is that it was transmitted by an animal. The three infected people had all eaten a dead dog that had been dug up before they came down with the virus. Another theory is that the disease hadn't actually been completely eradicated from Liberia. And a third theory is that perhaps the disease was spread through semen, which can carry the virus for 90 days. Researchers are looking at these and other possible ways the disease could have made a comeback.
Officials are keeping tabs on 175 people who had contact with the victims. Over 11,200 people have died from the West African outbreak since 2013. Read the rest