Check out APHA’s Zika page for the latest news, science, advocacy messages, tips to avoid infection and more.

Check out APHA’s Zika page for the latest news, science, advocacy messages, tips to avoid infection and more.

In the past 24 hours, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that funds the federal government through Dec. 9. Notably, the continuing resolution included $1.1 billion in funding to combat the ongoing Zika epidemic through fiscal year 2017.

The White House released a statement of support for the legislation, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law before the weekend. APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin thanked both the House and Senate for “putting politics aside in the face of a public health disaster.”

“Those of us who work in public health knew the risks of population harm were multiplying before today,” Benjamin said in a news release. “Now, our core public health agencies will be better equipped to conduct laboratory and surveillance work, prevent Zika from spreading and provide lifesaving services for pregnant women and children.”

More than 25,000 cases of Zika have been confirmed in the U.S. and U.S. territories since 2015, including more than 50 non-travel related infections in Florida. The virus can cause microcephaly and other major fetal birth defects, and has been strongly associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

“I’d like to especially thank all of the APHA members, our Affiliates and all of our other colleagues in the public health community who spoke to their members of Congress and urged them to provide adequate funding to ensure that we have the resources to combat this public health emergency,” Benjamin said. “Experience tells us that we have a long road ahead of us, but we’ll work day and night until Zika in America is a thing of the past.”

Check out APHA’s Zika page for the latest news, science, advocacy messages, tips to avoid infection and more.

 

Updated: President Barack Obama signed legislation Sept. 29, 2016, approving $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding. 

 

Scroll photo by Wally Gobetz, courtesy Flickr