Zika virus could be around for two more years in US: expert
23 August 2016
The US could expect the Zika virus to "hang around" as long as two more years, with the Gulf Coast states being the most vulnerable, according to a top medical expert.
"I would not be surprised if we see cases in Texas, in Louisiana, particularly now where you have a situation with flooding in Louisiana," Dr Anthony Fauci told ABC television's This Week broadcast yesterday.
According to Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Gulf region was ripe for Zika as it was a "sub-tropical or semi-tropical region with the right mosquitoes and individuals who have travel related cases."
He added, the US had to be prepared for a "broad outbreak" of Zika, but he did not think that was likely because of what he called "conditions" in the US.
"Hopefully, we get to a point to where we could suppress it so we won't have any risk of it," he said.
Pregnant women had been warned by the Centers for Disease Control to avoid the popular South Beach area of Miami Beach, Florida and the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami after seven suspected Zika cases were discovered last week.
The mosquito borne virus had spread much across Latin America and the Caribbean, and had recently turned up in the continental US.
Meanwhile, concerns increased after confirmation that Zika has expanded into a second region of the tourist hub of Miami-Dade County in Florida.
Miami's Wynwood arts neighbourhood last month became the site of the first locally transmitted cases of Zika in the continental US.
"There's going to be a lot of problems getting rid of standing water", which could stymie the mosquito control efforts that are the best way to control Zika's spread," Fauci said.