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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Issues Surrounding U.S., Global Zika Response, Outbreak Preparedness

Washington Post: Congressional Republicans are playing games with a public health emergency
Editorial Board

“…To fight an outbreak requires resources and time. Congress is undermining the effort on both counts. Vaccine development, now underway, is a long-term project; surveillance is a multi-year endeavor; creating rapid diagnostics is a major undertaking; mosquito control is fragmented in local governments, often uneven and urgent. Those on the front lines need to know — now — that programs to fight Zika will not start and stop. When members of the House and Senate return next week, they must immediately go to conference and pass emergency supplemental funding, along the lines of the Senate bill, to enable a determined and serious battle against the Zika virus. Scientists and public-health experts know what to do. Why are Republicans in Congress impeding their necessary work?” (5/30).

Slate: Zika’s Getting All of the Attention. It Shouldn’t.
Donna A. Patterson, author

“…To lessen the impact of future epidemics, it is crucial to look beyond the disease in the headlines and prepare a broad response strategy. Countries and communities with inadequate health facilities, wherever they are in the world, should be targeted for improvements. Medical personnel in developing countries and rural regions of developed countries should be incentivized to stay in the areas and not become part of a growing trend of ‘brain drain’ in areas that need doctors, nurses, and midwives the most. As the world continues to get smaller via international travel and exchange, it is important to remember that borders are porous and global health security in remote areas is as significant as it is in major cities. … The disease that doesn’t make the headlines is no less deadly than the one playing on loop on your television” (5/27).

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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.