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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

ALERT: Zika Virus Infected Mosquitoes Escapes U.S. Lab, Kills Dozens of Babies

An infectious disease testing laboratory in Texas, scientists injected 100 milliliters of the Zika virus into cows as part of a study to conduct the effects of the Zika virus.

Scientist then release uninfected mosquitoes into the testing area so they could feed on the infected cattle.

The purpose of the test was to conduct research to determine how powerful and deadly the disease would be in the United States and howhealth officials could stop the virus.

Currently, over 4,000 babies in Brazil have been born with a birth defectcalled microcephaly as a result of their mothers being infected with the Zika virus.

These babies have small heads and abnormal brain development, and so far, 46 have died in there.“It really is an unprecedented event,” said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the division of vector-borne diseases at the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention.

“You’re dealing with children with a severe neurological disease they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. That’s a devastating outcome.”

According to health officials, the controlled testing environment has been compromised.

Out of the 350,000 mosquitoes used for the test, nearly 63% of them have escaped the lab through a series of ventilationsystem, into the public.

“I can not believe the irresponsibility of this laboratory. The janitors responsible for cleaning the labs, left the vents open while they were sterilizing the lab. We fear that these infected mosquitoes will cause a Zika virus epidemic in the United States,” said Dr. Weinstein.

So far, there have been 300 cases in the United States with over 30 newborn deaths.

Three hospitals between the states of Arizona, Floridaand Texas have confirmed cases of the Zika virus.

On January 15, Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed that a baby born in Oahu with microcephaly tested positive for Zika virus.
Meanwhile, pregnant women in Illinois and Florida, among other states, have tested positive for the virus.

Health officials are warning the public about the possibility of infected beef being consumed by the public.

“From our short-lived study, we have discovered that the mosquitoes enjoy feeding on cows. Once the infected mosquitoes bite the cows, the cows become infected with the virus immediately and it takes weeks before the cows show any signs of being infected. This may pose a threat to beef eating consumers,” added Dr. Weinstein.

Experts believe cooler weather is a very helpful in why the Zika virus has not spread to other states, as the mosquitoes that spread viruses prefer hotter climates.

“I’m very concerned about tropical-like areas of the United States, such as American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Texas, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and other states that will become hotter in climate in the following months.” Dr. Weinstein added.

As of now, there are no vaccines for the Zika virus.

“Developing a vaccine would involve gaining the interest of a pharmaceutical company and could take years to develop,” said Dr. Weinstein.

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