Zika Virus ‘Scarier Than We Initially Thought’

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NORTH TEXAS -- Doctors are learning more about the Zika virus and according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC, the news isn't good.

"Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought," Dr. Schuchat said.

Two more studies have been released about the virus. One finds the virus targets developing brain cells and kills them. The other shows it may cause nerve damage that resembles multiple sclerosis.

While the CDC awaits Congress' approval of $1.9 billion to combat the virus, almost $600 million is being moved from other federal projects, like Ebola.

As of Monday, Texas has had 28 confirmed cases of Zika. 27 were travelers who were affected abroad; including 5 cases in Dallas County and 3 in Tarrant County.

For now, there's no way to predict how much the population of mosquitoes that carry Zika will grow this summer. But a more familiar virus is wreaking havoc in another part of the country.

In Austin, Indiana -- a small town of about 4,000 people -- there are 190 new cases of HIV infection. The outbreak was apparently caused by intravenous drug users sharing needles.

In an attempt to slow the outbreak, state officials began a needle exchange program over a year ago. Now state officials are turning to pre-exposure medications that can reduce the chance of contracting HIV though intravenous drug use by more than 70%.

The heat appears to be officially on concerning potential viral outbreaks this summer.

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