Michigan Outlines Strategy for Flint Water Crisis, Zika Virus Global Epidemic


Zika-Linked Condition: WHO Declares Global Emergency-BBC

The World Health Organization announced that the Zika virus has now become a global health emergency. Experts are concerned that the virus is spreading fast and with life-altering consequences such as microcephaly. There have been 4,000 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil since October. There is currently no vaccine or medication that can stop the Zika virus. The only way to prevent getting the Zika virus is to avoid getting bitten by the Aedes mosquito. “I am now declaring that the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurological abnormalities reported in Latin America following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014 constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,” WHO director-general Margaret Chan said.

Michigan Outlines Strategy to Determine if Flint Water is Safe-CBS News

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is completing a five-part strategy to determine whether Flint’s water is still contaminated with lead. The state will do residential water testing, blood testing and overall testing of Flint’s water distribution system. State officials have announced that water samples from 5,000 homes have been tested and about 94 percent of these samples were below the “actionable level” of 15 parts per billion for lead. Yet, Gov. Rick Snyder is still urging Flint residents to submit a free water test kit that can be picked up and returned at certain Flint fire stations. “We want to ensure that all homes are getting the proper immediate attention and the home water tests will help that process,” Snyder said in a statement.

France Calls on US to Lift Economic Embargo on Cuba-NY Times

Cuban President Raul Castro visited Paris on Monday to improve relations between France and Cuba.This visit to Paris comes after a deal in December in which France lightened Cuba’s foreign debt. Both presidents also are committed to developing economic, political and cultural ties between the two countries. Cuba is still under an economic embargo by the United States even though the United States normalized relations with Cuba in December 2014. “We appreciate France’s traditional position in favor of the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial embargo from the United States against Cuba, which is the main obstacle to the development of our country,”Castro said.