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'Nobody's looking': why US Zika outbreak could be bigger than we know

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  • 'Nobody's looking': why US Zika outbreak could be bigger than we know

    'Nobody's looking': why US Zika outbreak could be bigger than we know
    ...
    Jessica Glenza in New York
    @JessicaGlenza
    Wednesday 17 August 2016 07.30 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 17 August 2016 08.15 EDT

    If you were bitten by a mosquito, and within two weeks had a fever, bloodshot eyes, a rash and felt generally achy, you would have four classic symptoms of Zika. But if you or your sexual partner didn’t travel to Latin America, you might also have a hard time getting tested.

    That’s because Zika tests are complicated, time-consuming, sometimes inaccurate and expensive. These obstacles have led some scientists to believe that several states at risk for spread of the disease may already have Zika outbreaks, without even knowing it.

    “There is not active surveillance going on in the at-risk states in the United States,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. “I think there’s not just Zika transmission going on in Miami, it’s going on all up and down the Gulf Coast and in Arizona, it’s just that nobody’s looking.”
    ...
    “There is a limitation, and local transmission could slip through, but it’s the best we’ve got,” said Frank Welch, the medical director for Louisiana’s center for community preparedness.

    Louisiana, long known to be a haven for mosquitoes, is considered a state at-risk of Zika transmission. There, 22 cases of travel-related Zika has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    “The big fear, of course, is we’ll figure this out seven, eight, nine months from now, in the spring of 2017, when we start seeing babies show up with microcephaly,” said Hotez.
    ...

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ies-mosquitoes
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela
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