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Better Diagnostics, Implementation Of Mosquito Prevention Needed To Control Zika’s Spread In Puerto Rico, U.S.

The Hill: Stopping Puerto Rico’s Zika crisis
Ranu S. Dhillon, adviser to the president of Guinea and the country’s National Ebola Coordination Cell; Javier Ortiz, executive director of the Puerto Rico Economic Recovery Initiative and partner at Falcon Cyber Investments; Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, founder of Patient Knowhow; and David Beier, a managing director of Bay City Capital

“…We need to act now to fight the epidemic in Puerto Rico and prevent it from becoming a similar crisis on the mainland. … [W]e — the national and international community working together — need should remember fundamental steps. These include research on the biology of the disease, short-term treatment options, and research and development of safe and effective vaccines. Additionally, the development of accurate and readily accessible diagnostic tools for early detection to reduce transmission and guide treatment is required. In an era of rapid mobility of people and goods we simply need to create a permanent rapid response plan and team to guard against the next few epidemics and beyond because our national security depends on it. … Two of us advised the president of Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the world, on reining in its Ebola epidemic — all in the absence of a vaccine — by focusing on two principles. First, we must identify a sufficient fraction of those who are infected, and providing them whatever resources are needed to prevent them from infecting others. Secondly, we must encourage communities to adopt practices that sufficiently prevent further transmission…” (9/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.