Zika Virus and Global Health Security

16(10) Lancet Infectious Diseases 1099-1100 (2016)

3 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2016

See all articles by Lawrence O. Gostin

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

James G. Hodge

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: September 19, 2016

Abstract

Americans are largely apathetic about the risks of Zika virus and Congress cannot agree on preparedness funding. Strategies to counter the spread of Zika by the World Health Organisation (WHO) grossly underestimate the disease’s impact. WHO and member countries lack sufficient resources to respond. Consequences of fiscal apathy can be measured in lives lost and long-term disabilities. Zika prevention is a matter of global health security.

The epidemiologic brunt of Zika in South America falls largely on vulnerable women at heightened risk of exposure through mosquitoes and sexual transmission. Resulting transmission to fetuses and infants will have generational impacts in South American and Caribbean countries, as well as the U.S. Global costs to address Zika infections among infected infants will exceed hundreds of billions (U.S. dollars).

WHO and some U.S. leaders, including President Obama, correctly assert that Zika threatens national and global security similar to humanitarian crises, climate change, and war. Words alone, however, are not enough. Global recognition of this public health crisis must stimulate greater investment in preventing negative repercussions.

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Gostin, Lawrence O. and Hodge, James G., Zika Virus and Global Health Security (September 19, 2016). 16(10) Lancet Infectious Diseases 1099-1100 (2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2841697

Lawrence O. Gostin (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

James G. Hodge

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
111 E. Taylor Street, MC 9520
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States
480-727-8576 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.asu.edu/degree-programs/public-health-law-policy

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