Sounding the Alarm on Zika Inaction in Washington
Category: Public Affairs
Last week, Legacy jumped into advocacy on Zika virus funding on behalf of our patients. CEO Katy Caldwell sent letters to members of Congress urging them to stop dragging their feet on funding for the Zika virus, which is the mosquito-borne virus causing severe birth defects in thousands of infants in Latin America.
It’s just a matter of time, many public health officials have stated, before the virus spreads in Texas and across the South, beyond the 150 confirmed Zika cases currently in the U.S. Twelve cases have been confirmed in Houston.
“I hope I’m wrong but it’s just a matter of time before we see a Zika case at one of our clinics,” said Dr. Natalie Vanek, an infectious disease specialist at Legacy. “Our heart already goes out to this mom and her baby.”
The head of the Centers for Disease Control called on Congress on Thursday to take “urgent action” to allocate money to accelerate a vaccine, improve mosquito controls, and provide health assistance to low-income pregnant women.