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After Zika, critical to monitor babies’ health — but how long?

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Zika mosquitoes

More federal money finally is available to fight the Zika virus even as the news worsens: Babies who at first seem to have escaped its devastating hallmark defect — an abnormally small head at birth — might not be out of the woods after all. Brazilian doctors have counted a small number of babies who at birth had a normal-sized head and only later were found to have problems. They have delayed neurodevelopment. At five months, one could use one hand but…

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Let Florida use Frankenskeeters, lawmakers tell feds

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A throng of Democratic and Republican state House members — 61 in all — are asking the federal government to let Florida deploy genetically modified mosquitoes in the battle against the Zika virus. “This modified mosquito, developed by the company Oxitec, has proven exceptionally effective,” said their letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, also signed by Republican Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran and Democratic Leader-designate Janet Cruz. Where the insects have been used, they “reduced the target mosquito population by 90 percent without harming either…

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Rick Scott calls Zika “a national issue”

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In a highly unusual travel warning, health officials advised pregnant women to avoid a part of Miami where mosquitoes are apparently transmitting the Zika virus directly to humans. At the same time, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said residents and travelers to Miami and the rest of the state were safe. “We’ve tested a little over 20,000 now, and we don’t have any mosquitoes that have Zika,” he told reporters after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. Health officials last Friday announced that mosquitoes have…

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U.S Senate approves Bill Nelson bill to speed search for Zika virus cure

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Four new cases of the Zika virus were reported in Florida this week, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 66.   To help prevent the disease from spreading further, late Thursday night the U.S. Senate approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson and others to speed development of vaccines and treatments for the disease.   “We need to figure out a way to stop the spread of this virus sooner rather than later,” Nelson said. “This bill creates an…

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