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Amy Yomiko Vittor

University of Florida

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Zika Virus: Are Climate & Ecological Factors Driving Spread of Viral Diseases in the Americas
Duration: (0:14:52)
Year: 2016
Keyword: Zika, environment, climate
Democracy Now!: We look at the spread of the Zika virus, which scientists have linked to rising temperatures from global warming because of the increased incidence of mosquito-borne infections. The illness, while generally not life-threatening, has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, saying the virus is "spreading explosively" and that up to 4 million people in the Americas could be infected by the end of this year. Brazil has been hardest hit by Zika with over 4,000 cases of infants with severe birth defects which could be linked to the virus. Meanwhile, officials in Texas have reported the first case of the virus contracted in the United States, saying it was sexually transmitted. We are joined by Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Amy Vittor, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Florida’s Division of Infectious Disease.

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