According to USA Today, Zika virus, which has been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America, has spread rapidly and made its way to North America.
It causes Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare condition in which the body attacks its own nerve cells, causing paralysis. The agency warned the virus is 'scarier than we initially thought.'
the senior United States Senator from Connecticut Richard Blumenthal shared on Facebook:
'The Zika virus recently claimed its first victim in the United States. As it continues to spread across our country, it demands an urgent response from policymakers and the public health community. Today, I stood with health advocates, medical professionals, and representatives from Connecticut companies that are leading the development of a Zika vaccine to call for emergency federal funding to support treatment and prevention efforts. I also visited Protein Sciences in Meriden, one of these companies, to observe their innovative research and better understand how they can utilize critically needed federal support. We can and will work together to keep our families safe, protect the health of mothers and newborns, and defeat the Zika virus.'
Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. It is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus.
Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947. Zika virus is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses.
CDC published the map of states and territories reporting ZIKA virus desease: