Web Briefing for Media – The Zika Virus: What’s Next in the U.S. and Abroad?

The rapid spread of the Zika virus in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, the appearances of cases of Zika in the United States, and the association between Zika infection and serious birth defects has generated attention and concern among the public, policymakers, and the media. The WHO declared the cluster of birth defects associated with the virus represents a public health emergency of international concern. President Obama requested $1.8 billion in funding from Congress to combat the virus at home and abroad. What have scientists and researchers discovered about the health consequences of the virus? How are Zika-affected countries responding to its spread and what more can be done? What challenge does Zika present for women in countries that have limited contraceptive and reproductive health care access? What impact could Zika have in the United States? How can the U.S. contribute to the global response?

To address these and other questions, the Kaiser Family Foundation held an interactive web briefing exclusively for journalists on Wednesday, February 17, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Jen Kates, Foundation Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy, provided insights and answered questions. The majority of the web briefing was devoted to a question-and-answer session with journalists.

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