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The latest on the Zika virus

(AP) Florida officials have gone into damage-control mode, with Gov. Rick Scott insisting, “We have a safe state!” during a tour of the Zika hot zone in Miami’s Wynwood district.
Tourism is Florida’s biggest industry. Visitors spent some $89 billion here last year. And Disney is America’s No. 1 tourist attraction.
(New York Daily News) Get your behinds back to Washington.
That was Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) message for his fellow senators and congress members Sunday as he demanded the passage of a $1.9 billion emergency funding bill needed to fight the growing spread of the Zika virus.
(West Hartford News) U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited Martin Park in East Hartford Monday to call upon Congress to convene a special emergency session to approve $1.1 billion in funding to combat the Zika virus.
Congress recessed for a seven weeks without appropriating emergency funds to fight Zika. But minority Democrats have no authority to make that happen. It’s up to the Republican majority.
(Reuters) U.S. health regulators have cleared the way for a trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida that can reduce mosquito populations, potentially offering a new tool to fight the local spread of Zika and other viruses.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that a field trial testing Intrexon Corp's genetically engineered mosquitoes would not have a significant impact on the environment.
(The U.S. Military HIV Research Program) A ZIKV purified inactivated virus Zika vaccine candidate provided robust protection against the virus in rhesus monkeys in a new preclinical study. Findings support advancing the candidate to human trials.
(USA TODAY) Zika typically causes few to no serious symptoms in adults, but the virus can brutally attack the brains of developing fetuses, causing devastating birth defects. The best-known problem caused by Zika is microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and, in most cases, incomplete brain development…
That brain damage, however, can't be diagnosed until halfway through pregnancy or later, limiting options for pregnant women who might consider abortion.
(STAT) Americans’ strong aversion to late-term abortions drops precipitously if a developing fetus would likely be born with severe damage from the Zika virus, a new STAT-Harvard poll found.
It showed that 59 percent of respondents thought women should have the right to end a pregnancy after 24 weeks of gestation if testing showed there was a serious possibility the fetus had microcephaly caused by the mother’s Zika infection.
(Politico) Sen. Marco Rubio said Saturday that he doesn’t believe a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus should have the right to an abortion — even if she had reason to believe the child would be born with severe microcephaly.
(Christine Curry, The Conversation) I teach and practice obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital, and I treat pregnant women who have been infected with Zika: so far over a dozen women. We began preparing to care for infected women in January. Now, it is part of the daily care we provide. And with first known cases of local mosquito-borne transmission in the continental US reported in Wynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, the risk has become even more real.
How am I, and other doctors who care for pregnant women, dealing with this new disease?
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