Congress must finalize Zika legislation before summer recess

Date: Jul 11 2016

APHA: Congress must finalize Zika legislation before summer recess

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Daniel Greenberg, 202-777-3913

Washington, D.C., July 11, 2016 — The American Public Health Association strongly urges Congress, before it leaves for a seven-week recess at the end of the week, to send a bill to the president that appropriately funds efforts to combat the Zika outbreak. 

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other major fetal birth defects, as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome. In the U.S. and U.S. territories, more than 3,600 cases of Zika have been reported since 2015.

"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," said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. "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.

"It is unacceptable to reduce this emergency to a political football.

"Congress must send Zika legislation to the president this week, period. It will prevent a countless amount of diseases and human suffering, and nothing else should matter." 

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.