The Department of Defense (DoD) is moving pregnant family members of its active-duty military and civilian workforce away from areas impacted by the Zika virus. Those affected will be offered voluntary relocation as the virus has now become an international public health emergency.
It’s not clear how the families will be able to request transfers, but U.S. Southern Command officials said that one person has already been moved.
DoD researchers are increasing their efforts to develop a vaccine for the virus which was first identified in monkeys in Africa in 1947.
It was first detected in Brazil last year and has spread there. Health officials believe it’s linked to microcephaly, a severe birth defect that causes babies to be born with small heads and underdeveloped brains.
[graphiq id=”kpNJnfUCwsJ” title=”Birth Defects Associated with Zika Virus” width=”600″ height=”626″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/kpNJnfUCwsJ” link=”//www.graphiq.com/wlp/kpNJnfUCwsJ” link_text=”Birth Defects Associated with Zika Virus | HealthGrove”]
The World Health Organization estimates more than 4 million people may be infected by the end of the year.
(H/T Military Times)