Michigan to receive $927K to fight Zika virus

The Detroit News

Michigan will receive $927,000 in the fight against the Zika virus.

The money is part of $60 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Obama administration had hoped to distribute $1.9 billion in the fight against the virus but the amount wasn’t approved by Congress.

Despite the shortfall, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said the agency needed to quickly address what he called an increasingly concerning public health threat.

“We cannot wait to provide this essential support,” he said.

The new funding will help pregnant women through through epidemiologic surveillance and investigation, strengthening laboratory capacity and improving mosquito control and monitoring.

It will also support participation in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry to monitor pregnant women with Zika and their infants, as well as Zika-related activities in U.S.-Mexico border states, said Frieden.

But he said additional support will be needed to help expand mosquito-control capabilities and develop a Zika vaccine and diagnostics, among other priorities.

Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), although Aedes aegypti are more likely to spread Zika.

Zika infection can also be spread by men and women to their sex partners.

Health officials predicted the virus would reach U.S. mosquitoes this summer and have mobilized to keep Zika from spreading beyond isolated clusters of cases. More than 1,300 Zika infections have been reported in the United States, none involving bites from local mosquitoes; 14 of these were sexually transmitted and one lab worker was stuck with a contaminated needle.

Officials are investigating whether the Zika infection of a woman in the Miami area could be the first transmission of the virus from a mosquito bite in the continental United States. Lab tests confirmed the Zika infection, according to statements from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida’s Department of Health.

Health officials said the case had no apparent links to recent travel outside the country.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.