White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

The truth is that the White House announced Wednesday that they would redirect $589 million in funds for Zika from the Ebola funding.

In February the administration asked Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding to fight the Zika virus.

The issue has taken on more urgency for US officials as mosquito season draws near. The administration will repurpose an additional $79 million from other accounts, including funds for emergency medical supplies during epidemics and national vaccine stockpiles.

"We do have an opportunity to prepare for the Zika virus, but Congress has completely abdicated their (sic) responsibility to follow through" on the administration's proposal Earnest said.

The Office of Management and Budget devoted a blog post to the problem on Wednesday, saying, "Without the full amount of requested emergency supplemental funding, many activities that need to start now would have to be delayed, or curtailed or stopped, within months".

For the best readily accessible information about what viruses are rampant where, travelers should peruse the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, including through its listings of state health departments.

USA Today reports that Zika virus infection remains longer in the blood of pregnant women than in any other patient demographic.

The scientific community has been clear about the fact that they don't want to divert Ebola funds, repeatedly arguing that the money is already spoken for and that Republicans are undercutting global public health strategy. Earnest said new discoveries about the Zika virus increased the urgency for the funds.

Pregnant women or women who may get pregnant in the near future should not travel to countries with Zika transmission.

Researchers believe there may be a link between Zika and Microcephaly which is a debilitating neurological birth defect in which a baby's head is too small as well as other serious complications.

Puerto Rico, a US territory, has been the epicenter of the outbreak affecting the United States thus far, with 349 cases, all acquired from mosquitoes.

These maps do not show the numbers or density of mosquitoes within each area, and they don't indicate the risk of potential disease spread or risk of infection.

This includes funding for mosquito control, which is particularly important now that the weather is beginning to warm up. So the US funds designated for Ebola were meant to help those countries improve their struggling public health systems to prevent something like this from happening again. The WHO confirmed that one of the people who died from Ebola in Liberia had traveled to Guinea a week prior.

Three people in Alabama have tested positive for the virus. Congressional Republicans had pushed for using the Ebola funding before allocating new funding to fight Zika.

"If you have traveled to a country with local transmission of Zika you should abstain from unprotected sex", health department officials said in a news release, highlighting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations.

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