The March of Dimes today released the following statement from Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, regarding the first locally-transmitted case of Zika virus by mosquitoes in the continental United States:
“This is the news we’ve been dreading. The March of Dimes is deeply concerned about reports of Zika virus transmitted locally by mosquitoes in Florida and the risks to pregnant women and their babies. It’s only a matter of time before babies are born with microcephaly, a severe brain defect, due to local transmission of Zika in the continental U.S. Our nation must accelerate education and prevention efforts to save babies from this terrible virus. Federal, state and local authorities are doing the best they can with the limited resources available to them, but much more is needed.
“It is especially unfortunate that Congress adjourned for the summer recess last week without passing legislation to provide more federal resources to combat Zika. Congressional leaders should do everything in their power to ensure that they will be ready to send bipartisan legislation to the President’s desk immediately upon their return in September.”
The March of Dimes #ZAPzika campaign provides essential information on Zika protection in both English and Spanish:
1. Use spray, keep mosquitoes away: make sure it’s EPA registered.
2. Say you will, embrace the chill: use air conditioning and window screens if possible.
3. If it’s wet, it’s a threat: remove still water.
4. Get protected, not infected: wear clothes to prevent bites. Use a condom to prevent sexual transmission.
5. If you suspect, then connect: call your health care provider if you are at risk of infection.
Continuously updated information is available from the March of Dimes in English at www.marchofdimes.org/zika and in Spanish at www.nacersano.org/zika. Members of the public can ask questions in both languages at http://www.marchofdimes.org/ask-us.aspx#. The March of Dimes is circulating an online petition to demand action from Congress at marchofdimes.org/zikapetition.”