January 2016 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

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Here are the key events in science and disasters news for the month of January 2016.

  • Zika Virus Spreads from Latin America (Jan.): According to the Pan American Health Organization, twenty countries in the Western Hemisphere have confirmed cases of the Zika Virus. Those countries include Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Zika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an infection similar to yellow fever and West Nile virus. Zika is named after Uganda's Zika forest where it was discovered. It is common in Africa and Asia where people have become immune. No one in the Western Hemisphere had been infected before this month, so with no immune defenses, Zika is now spreading quickly. (Jan. 20): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces that pregnant women who feel sick and have visited countries in Latin America should visit a doctor immediately.