The Senate has voted to grant $1.2 billion in funding to fight the impending local transmission of the Zika virus in the United States.
On May 13, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced
that more than $85 million in repurposed funds will be going toward efforts to combat local Zika virus transmission. This decision came after Puerto Rico saw its first Zika-related death and microcephaly case. Although only 20% of Zika patients present with symptoms, an infection during pregnancy can result in serious complications
, such as microcephaly and even stillbirth. Zika infection has also been associated with several neurological disorders
in adults and children, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
In Senate we just passed $1.2 billion for #Zika. Hopefully House will soon do the same. Important we get ahead of this. #ZikaVirus
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 17, 2016
Earlier this year, President Obama requested that Congress grant $1.9 billion to fight active transmission of Zika within the United States. However, Republicans pushed back. As a result, 3 “competing plans” were presented
to lawmakers.The funds would go towards efforts to prevent Zika, such as vector control, as well as diagnostic testing and vaccination.
Now, senators are also pushing for emergency funding to be granted with the same urgency for opioid and heroin abuse in the United States.
To stay informed on the latest in infectious disease news and developments, please sign up for our weekly newsletter.