WHO Asks for $56 Million to Combat Spread of Zika Virus

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mosquitos pass zika
Zika virus likely newest global threat
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How mosquitoes zero in on hot bodiesThe fight against the Zika virus continues as the World Health Organization (WHO) asks for $56 million to combat the spread of the dangerous virus.

NBC News reported the plea for donations and cited the rapid spread of the virus as the reason behind the expensive undertaking.

“Possible links with neurological complications and birth malformations have rapidly changed the risk profile for Zika from a mild threat to one of very serious proportions,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.

According to USA Today, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is concerned that Puerto Rico may be the next target of the hard-hitting contagion. The first local case was reported in December and eight citizens have been diagnosed since.

While the current state of Zika in Puerto Rico isn’t extremely alarming, the potential for a wide-spread infection through the island is high. Puerto Rico is already battling two other mosquito-spread illnesses; Dengue and chikungunya have affected a large majority of the population.

With citizens often traveling between Puerto Rico and the states, caution is imperative. After being exposed to the virus through travel, citizens are asked to avoid the risk of contaminating others.

Aside from person-to-person contact, citizens around the world are asked to be wary of standing water. Countries and local areas without sufficient pumping are often attractive to mosquitoes. Additionally, any home older than 20 years old should have a sewer inspection to ensure that no clogs or damage will result in standing water, which may in turn attract mosquitoes that may be carrying the virus.

While the outbreak of Zika has troubled government officials all over the globe, the probability of a mass outbreak within the United States is slim. With cooler temperatures and less poverty, experts hope the U.S. can avoid the virus.