The threat of Zika virus is becoming increasingly dangerous. Since 2015, more than 10,000 cases of Zika virus have been found in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The second community with local transmission in Florida is confirmed. Over 100,000 U.S. citizens just returned from summer Olympics in Rio. The virus has the potential to spread even farther and faster around the nation.
The most serious health concern with Zika is the effect in pregnant women. A person infected with Zika can pass the virus to a fetus. The virus can cause microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies have smaller-than-average heads, developmental problems and other severe birth defects.
Scientists are doing their best to develop a vaccine despite lack of action from Congress. Researchers report funding vaccine development by taking resources from other important public health activities.