As health officials around the world study how the Zika virus is spreading, a Tulane researcher says New Orleans has some extra time to prepare.
Dawn Wesson is an associate professor of tropical medicine. She knows that Louisiana has plenty of mosquitoes, which transmit the virus that causes birth defects.
“The Zika situation is off in the distance. We’re experiencing relatively cold days right now," she says. "It’s not mosquito season, but it will be mosquito season in a couple of months. Depending on what happens between now and then weatherwise will tell us how soon we should start worrying about Zika. It is likely that we’ll have imported cases of Zika and we’ll need to be alert to that possibility.”
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for nearly $2 billion in emergency funding to fight the virus.
There has been no known transmission of the virus by mosquitoes within the U.S., but at least 50 travelers have returned home to Florida and other states with the infection.