today's MUG 05.16.16

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Zika
Flickr Pool Picks

Zika may turn out to be a passing menace, or not.

It is unusual in that it can be spread by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) as well as sexually transmitted. There have been no confirmed cases of blood transfusion transmission, but the CDC says there is a "strong possibility" that Zika virus can be spread that way.

Scientists at the CDC have concluded that the virus causes the birth defect microcephaly.

The virus has shown the ability to mutate quickly and that could portend a serious pandemic, although the spread of Zika in the United States is unlikely to be of disastrous proportions, according to Science magazine.

NYC is taking the threat seriously. Last month, Mayor De Blasio announced the City's Zika Action Plan (or, more reassuringly, ZAP): a 3-year program funded with $21 million. It consists of mosquito surveillance, trapping, and spraying (the City sprayed wetlands last week) as well as enhanced clinical services and public awareness.

Prevention is particularly important for pregnant women. Consumer Reports recently published ratings of best the Mosquito Repellents, with Sawyer, which uses picaridin, as its top choice.

Picaridin and DEET are the two most effective ingredients; the EPA and the FDA consider them safe for pregnant woman. University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources has a concise rundown of the active ingredients.

Skip unconventional products such as bracelets, patches, and ultrasonic machines. Wear protective clothing and remove or report standing water to 311.

This NASA map is a forecast of where the risks in the U.S. will be greatest by midsummer.

Traveling to Central and South America, in particular, poses risk to pregnant women and the CDC says pregnant women "should not travel" to these areas. More details here.



















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