Zika goes continental?

We got word yesterday that the Zika virus has come to Dallas.  Some health officials are saying that it was passed by sexual contact.   

We also learned that 2,100 pregnant women have the Zika virus in Colombia, according to news reports:

More than 2,100 pregnant Colombian women are infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country’s national health institute said on Saturday, as the disease continued its spread across the Americas.

The virus has been linked to the devastating birth defect microcephaly, which prevents the brain of a fetus from developing properly. There is no vaccine.

There are 20,297 confirmed cases of the virus in Colombia, the national health institute said in a epidemiology bulletin, and among them are 2,116 pregnant women.

There are so far no reported cases of microcephaly or deaths from the virus in Colombia.

Sadly, Latin America has the perfect conditions for this virus to explode: pockets of poverty, bad hygiene, and a tropical climate that is perfect for mosquitoes. 

The U.S. must take this virus very seriously:  

1) There are thousands of people who fly to and from Latin America on a daily basis.  We have a couple of direct flights to Rio and Sao Paolo from Dallas.  There are many flights to and from Miami to countries where the virus is exploding.  

2) We have people crossing the border daily from Central America, especially El Salvador, where women have been told not to get pregnant.   

How concerned should we be?  Let's not panic, but raising our level of concern is an appropriate response.

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