US declares health emergency in Puerto Rico due to Zika

Officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites. "DNA or gene-based vaccines induce antibodies, but they also can activate the cell-mediated immune response, which ultimately could yield strong and durable protection against disease". As of August 3, there have been 1,818 cases of travel-associated cases of Zika confirmed in the United States and 16 cases of sexually transmitted by a partner who returned from travel overseas.

"It is important to remember that not every pregnant woman infected with Zika virus gives birth to a baby with microcephaly". That baby, which had traces of the Zika virus in the fluid around the brain, is normal, although being monitored, he said.

The United States is experiencing its first-ever outbreak of Zika, in a one-square-mile Miami neighborhood called Wynwood.

The health department's website noted that the investigation into this third case is just beginning and that the department would work to eradicate and control mosquitos in the area of interest.

Zika was first detected a year ago in Brazil, where it has taken its heaviest toll so far, and has spread rapidly through the Americas.

"It was a matter of time before we start seeing Zika cases in Canada and it's a matter of time before a fetus was infected from the virus", he said. The reason: better insect control as well as window screens and air conditioning that should help curtail any outbreaks.

Because of the risk, the federal government is warning women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to avoid travel to places where the Zika virus is present - which includes a swath of South and Central America and the Caribbean. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned that the actual number of infections from the mosquito-borne virus could be much higher. According to Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director for the department's Bureau of Community Preparedness, the early detection of local transmission of the Zika virus is a key strategy to prevent its spread. Partners of pregnant women are advised to use a condom to guard against sexual transmission during pregnancy.

This Q & A will tell you what you need to know about Zika.

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