We begin with the most newsworthy action of the day, via Al Jazeera America:
Obama seeks $1.8 billion in emergency funds to combat Zika
President aims to counter spread of mosquito-borne virus in US and abroad as it continues to spread rapidly
Details of Obama’s plan may be found in this White House fact sheet, Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad:
From Reuters, a precautionary action:
Exclusive: U.S. athletes should consider not attending Olympics if fear Zika – officials
The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.
Another form of action, via CNBC:
Zika virus putting Americans off vacations in Latin America, Caribbean: Poll
The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41 percent of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.
From WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas, action in the Lone Star State:
Dallas to test pregnant women for Zika
As the U.S. prepares to spend more money to fight the spread of the Zika virus, local officials are also taking the threat seriously.
WFTV in Orlando, Florida, covers action in the Sunshine State:
Florida declares public health emergency over Zika virus
Twelve cases of the Zika virus have been found in Florida, and the state has declared a public health emergency. No local mosquitoes have been found with the virus, and all of the reported cases are travel-related.
From PressTV, action in Paris:
Zika forces restriction on blood transfusions in France
France has restricted blood donations for travelers who recently came from places affected by the Zika virus, the French health minister says.
The European Medicines Agency reports another action:
EMA sets up task force on Zika virus
European experts to provide support to global response on the emerging epidemic
Meanwhile in Brazil, action of another via the Sydney Morning Herald:
Brazil’s Carnival roars ahead despite Zika health scare
The worst health scare in recent history is not keeping Brazilians from their annual carnival revelry as millions of people fill the streets and some make fun of the mosquito that spreads Zika and other viruses.
From the Washington Post, consequences:
Zika prompts urgent debate about abortion in Latin America
Across Latin America, calls to loosen some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world in the face of the Zika virus outbreak are gaining momentum, but encountering strong and entrenched opposition.
And from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a noteworthy question:
Zika virus: Brazilian survey calls into question cause of microcephaly
UPDATE: Another reason for questions, via Outbreak News Today:
Cape Verde: 7,000 Zika cases, No microcephaly
Officials with the Cape Verde Ministry of Health are reporting 7,164 Zika virus cases since first being confirmed in the capital city of Praia last October, while at the same time reporting no occurrences of microcephaly.
From CCTV America, a report with more questions and some answers from the World Health Organization’s regional affiliate:
Dissecting Zika with Dr. Marcus Espinal of PAHO
In a matter of weeks the Zika virus has gone from a concern to an all-out global crisis. In fact, the World Health Organization recently declared it a public health emergency of international concern which will bring more money and resources to fight it. Health officials are investigating a potential link between the mosquito-borne disease and hundreds, perhaps even thousands of babies born with abnormally small heads. There is no cure, no vaccine and each day it seems the warnings are getting worse. “Americas Now” anchor Elaine Reyes sits down with Dr. Marcos Espinal from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to discuss what is known and what is not known about the Zika virus. Dr. Espinal is the Director of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis at PAHO, in charge of disease prevention and control.Dr. Espinal gives his honest assessment of the virus and tells us what we can expect to see next.
From Singapore, the Straits Times covers a correlation:
Climate change linked to Zika outbreak
Record-high temperatures last year in Brazil, Ecuador and other South American countries created ideal conditions for the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, which is suspected of causing birth defects, scientists said in a conference call with reporters on Friday.
The Times of India reports on a successful countermeasure:
Maharashtra villages can show world how to beat Zika
At a time when the world is reeling under an outbreak of the Zika virus, several villages in Nanded district of Maharashtra have successfully drowned out the mosquito buzz with underground soak pits that suck in waste water.
While the Los Angeles Times covers another:
Fighting mosquitoes with mosquitoes: Biological weapons target Zika virus
Maureen Coetzee, an entomologist at the University of Witwatersrand and international expert on mosquito control, is conducting research on an anti-malaria strategy that involves breeding male mosquitoes, sterilizing them with radiation and releasing them into the wild.
Finally, via the Independent, the inevitable:
Zika virus: Conspiracy theories about GMO mosquitoes and intentional infection spread as fears of disease grow
Many of the conspiracy theories are wild and obviously untrue — but they could still lead to people dying