Zika may be more dangerous than originally thought

NIH and CDC asking Congress for nearly $2-billion in emergency funding

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Health officials now say the Zika virus is spreading faster and could be more dangerous than originally thought.

The nation’s top health experts are on an urgent mission to keep pregnant women in the U.S. from contracting the Zika virus. They’re now reporting that unborn babies are at risk for a longer period than first thought, and the mosquito that carries Zika is active in at least 30 states, especially in the most southern states from Texas to Florida.

U.S. Officials: The more we learn about Zika, scarier it is

This comes in the middle of spring break vacation season. For anyone, especially women planning to travel for a spring break, experts suggest consulting with you doctor, before heading to any of those warmer climates that are experiencing Zika.

In Puerto Rico, many residents are living in fear of the virus. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, thousands of babies have been born with deformities.

“We are definitely people there, especially young women who are going into travel but like the health chief said they need to step up because if they don’t help there, it’s going to spread,” said Jose Claudio of the North Citizens Council in Springfield.

People most at risk are those living or visiting areas without air conditioning or window screens, near standing water where mosquitos thrive. Still, some choose to not let the virus limit their travel.

“There always going to find those things out I think so no matter if it’s Zika or something else. You just have to reasonable and responsible for your own actions, where you go and what you do,” said Dan Greeley of Belchertown.

Researchers hope to have a vaccine ready for trials by September, but a wide-spread roll-out is a long way off.

The NIH and CDC now asking Congress for nearly $2-billion in emergency funding.

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