News

A day after Zika 'epidemic' hearing, Congress shuts down for two weeks without taking action

A day after a congressional committee heard expert testimony about the dangers of the Zika virus, Congress adjourned after taking no action and members aren't returning until June 7.

Wednesday, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing titled "Science of Zika: The DNA of an Epidemic." It included insect experts from universities and the chief executive of Oxitec, the British insect-control company that wants to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Lower Keys neighborhood of Key Haven as a test to minimize the spread of Zika.



Thursday, Congress adjourned.

President Obama wants Congress to approve $1.9 billion to combat Zika. The money would go toward developing a vaccine, speeding up and making tests for it easier, and ensuring local communities have the resources to battle Zika.

The Senate has approved $1.1 billion. The House has approved $622 million. Until they come to agreement, no money will be released.

Zika, along with dengue and chikungunya, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Oxitec wants to alter the DNA of the males so the offspring of their young can't reproduce. 

Zika causes fever, sore bones and muscles, and rashes. Zika is also considered a likely suspect in the birth defect microcepaly, which causes children to be born with shrunken skulls and brains.

  Comments