19 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016
Date Written: September 21, 2016
Emerging epidemiological findings surrounding Zika virus coupled with severe funding shortages limiting effective public health responses give rise to “Generation Zika,” of impacted kids and their families. Women who are pregnant or are considering pregnancy are being advised to avoid Zika infection despite significant challenges in adhering to such guidance. Improved surveillance, enhanced studies, public health education, effective mosquito abatement, and other techniques can improve societal preparedness and obviate impacts. However, sufficient global and national resources are lacking. There is no well-stocked, global fund to help those at risk of Zika infection. Worse yet, U.S. politicians have bickered for months over the need to authorize Zika-specific funds forcing public health agencies to redirect limited resources to meet shortfalls. As a result, chronic underfunding, like the virus itself, contributes to excess morbidity and mortality among thousands born into Generation Zika.
Keywords: Zika virus, legal preparedness, funding, maternal health, vulnerable populations
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