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Opinion Pieces, Letter To Editor Address Zika Virus Response

New York Times: Room for Debate: How to Stop the Spread of Zika
Multiple authors

“The World Health Organization is warning that the Zika virus, believed to cause brain abnormalities in infants, is ‘spreading explosively’ in the Americas, and that four million people could become infected by the end of the year. Brazil, where the mosquito-borne disease is most prevalent, has reported more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly, in which infants are born with small heads and damaged brains. What might halt the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas, and around the globe?” Multiple authors answer this question and others in several opinion pieces published as part of this New York Times “Room for Debate” (1/29).

Forbes: Combating Zika And Malaria Will Require Real Leadership And Rational Regulation
John J. Cohrssen, attorney, and Henry I. Miller, physician, molecular biologist, and fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution

“…The Oxitec and gene drive approaches [to eliminating mosquito vectors] could be the breakthroughs that spell the beginning of the end for malaria, dengue, Zika, and other mosquito-borne diseases and relegate them to the history books, as medical science has done for polio and smallpox. … Without leadership and policies that unleash the ingenuity of American scientists and companies, public health and innovation in the United States will suffer, and the nation will become at best a late adopter, having to import other countries’ innovations. Presidential oratory, even accompanied by additional research funding, is not enough. To win the war on malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, Mr. Obama must implement policies and take actions that mobilize a spectrum of state-of-the-art strategies and technologies…” (1/29).

Wall Street Journal: Letter to the Editor: Fast Diagnosis Is a Key to Stop Zika and Other Viruses
Mark Kessel, chair of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics

“…Without rapid diagnostics during an outbreak, the world health community lacks the ability to make a timely and accurate diagnosis to identify the etiology of the illness and to provide appropriate treatment. … Until effective vaccines are developed, it is in all our best interests to ensure that there are new diagnostics in the development pipeline that meet the needs in developed and developing countries to identify, treat, and track the outbreaks to minimize the deaths and costs to the world economy associated with outbreaks like Ebola, SARS, and MERS” (1/28).