Combating the Zika Virus
The Zika virus has been found in 26 countries and U.S. territories.
Experts fear the Zika virus could spread to America next. Spring and summer conditions are ideal for mosquitoes to carry the virus across the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have already reported that nine American women were found infected with the Zika virus. Two suffered miscarriages, and one gave birth to an infant with a skull deformity often associated with the Zika epidemic.
Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH, urges swift action to protect unborn American babies from the heartrending condition, which often leads to other complications — including mental retardation.
“Time is not on anyone's side here. Millions of pregnant women and unborn are at risk, and need support now.”
– Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH,
former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Global Health and current President and Chief Executive Officer, Project HOPE
The History of The Zika Virus
Project HOPE’s Response to Zika
No Time to Divert
Some have suggested diverting resources currently being used to contain Ebola in West Africa in order to fund a response to Zika.
Dr. Kenyon warns against such an idea. “Diverting resources from funding for Ebola makes little sense,” he says. “In fact, it would be like diverting the fire hose from a house fire that is smoldering, to one that is in flames. It only takes a puff of wind for the original to ignite again.”
The Time to Act Is Now
According to Dr. Kenyon, combating Zika now would save money down the line, and better prepare the public health system for any future outbreaks in America.
Project HOPE is already hard at work to prevent the spread of Zika. It supports several women’s and children’s health clinics in the Dominican Republic, where Zika training and community-based awareness programs have already been implemented. Project HOPE continues to monitor the situation and work toward coordinated Zika prevention efforts.