Health Highlights: April 6, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Leftover U.S. Ebola Funds Moved to Zika Fight

Leftover funds from the fight against Ebola are being transferred to counter the threat posed by the Zika virus, the Obama administration will announce Wednesday, according to congressional officials.

About three-quarters of the approximately $600 million will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is working on vaccines, treatments for infected people, and controlling the mosquitoes that spread the virus, the Associated Press reported.

The remainder of the money will be used to fight Zika in other countries.

President Barack Obama requested about $1.9 billion in emergency money to combat Zika but the Republican-controlled Congress has not provided the money, the AP reported.

Zika has been linked to a serious birth defect in which a baby’s head and brain are abnormally small, along with other health threats.

Concerns about the Zika virus in the U.S. are rising as summer brings mosquito season and a possible wider spread of the virus, the AP.


Americans’ Health at Risk From Climate Change: Report

Climate change poses a serious threat to Americans’ health, according to a federal government report released Monday.

It said climate change will result in more air and water pollution, more tainted food, longer allergy seasons, thousands of heat wave deaths, and an increase in diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes, the Associated Press reported.

Americans’ mental health will also be affected, according to Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy.

“It’s not just about polar bears and melting ice caps. It’s about our families. It’s about our future,” she said at a White House event to mark the report’s release, according to the AP.

The report is based on new federal research and an analysis of more than 1,800 published scientific studies.

“The report clearly establishes that climate change is a major threat to public health in the United States,” Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington’s public health school, who wasn’t part of the report, told the AP.

The federal government isn’t doing enough to tackle the problem, he added.

“There is a vast disconnect between the magnitude of the problem, as outlined by this report, and the response of government health agencies,” Frumkin said.

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