A state of emergency has been declared in four Florida counties — Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee, and Santa Rosa — after nine people were diagnosed with the Zika virus. While the nine people are believed to have contracted the virus while out of the country, Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, said he wants the state to be on high alert.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Monday that the Zika virus is a public health emergency of international concern, as it is suspected of causing significant birth defects. The designation is only the fourth one ever to be made by the WHO and paves the way to increase funding and manpower to stop the spread of the virus, which has already made its way to the United States. But while the WHO struggles to find a way to contain the virus, some contend that the 2001 worldwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses has allowed mosquito-borne pathogens such as this to run rampant and that the ban should be permanently lifted.