Click to tell Congress to fund Zika prevention and research now!

Click to tell Congress to fund Zika prevention and research now!

The Zika virus has already infected more than 3,600 people in the U.S. and its territories since 2015. Yesterday, APHA strongly urged Congress to send a bill to the president — before legislators leave for a seven-week recess — that appropriately funds Zika prevention activities.

“We absolutely know the outbreak will get much worse if Congress doesn’t finalize and send the president an adequate Zika funding bill this week,” APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, said in a news release. “The mosquitoes that spread Zika will multiply to dangerous levels over the summer. The numbers are scary right now. Imagine what they’ll be after two months of no national response.”

Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and other major fetal birth defects, as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

In February, APHA supported emergency funding to combat Zika prevention. Benjamin said then that “while we’ve only seen one case of reported Zika virus transmission in the U.S., it’s only a matter of time.” Congress has since missed several opportunities to fund a response, including two weeks ago.

“It is unacceptable to reduce this emergency to a political football.”

Find out more on APHA’s Zika page.