Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Considerations [June 29, 2016] [open pdf - 1MB]
"Congress is debating how to respond to an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness that has no treatment or vaccine and can cause microcephaly--a severe birth defect--and other neurological complications. As of June 16, 2016, 60 countries and territories had reported mosquito-borne transmission of the virus, 39 of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean and are reporting cases of Zika for the first time. Brazil, which has registered the most confirmed cases of Zika in Latin America, will host the summer Olympics in August 2016. Scientists expect that travel destinations in the Caribbean will see more cases as the summer's warm, rainy season continues. More than 750 U.S. citizens, including pregnant women, have become infected through either travel or sexual transmission. Frequent business and tourist travel, combined with the close proximity and similar climates of Latin America and the southern United States, means that mosquito-borne Zika infections are likely in the United States. Zika is primarily spread by Aedes mosquitoes--primarily Aedes aegypti but also Aedes albopictus, the latter of which is present in a majority of U.S. states. Local (or mosquito-borne) transmission has not yet occurred in the continental United States but is occurring in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. […] This report focuses on the Latin American dimensions of the Zika virus. For more information, see CRS Report R44368, 'Zika Virus: Basics About the Disease;' CRS Report R44385, 'Zika Virus: CRS Experts;' and CRS Report R44460, 'Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action.' This report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, R44545
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html