In February, the President asked Congress to support these efforts by providing $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat Zika by supporting mosquito control, disease detection and testing, vaccine development, and support for maternal women's health.
“Without the full amount of requested emergency supplemental funding, many activities that need to start now would have to be delayed, or curtailed or stopped, within months. For example, without supplemental funding, testing and manufacturing of vaccine candidates beyond the earliest stages of clinical trials would not be possible,” said Tdirector of management and budget Shaun Donovan. “In addition, lack of supplemental funding would prevent us from developing platform technologies for vaccine candidates for this Zika response and from accelerating the response to emerging infectious diseases in the future.”
He continued, “Absent supplemental funding, we will need to delay contracting with manufacturers for the development of faster and more accurate diagnostic tests, which are needed to ensure that those who think they have been exposed to Zika can get tested. In particular, there is a critical need for point-of-care diagnostics that are faster and do not require laboratory capacity. Similarly, starting mosquito surveillance and control activities now, prior to the summer months which are peak season for mosquitoes, and prior to the start of the rainy season in Central America and the Caribbean, is prudent.”
The White House released a map that estimates where the mosquitos that carry Zika virus could potentially reach in the US.
As previously reported by Happi, during last week’s Zika Action Plan Summit hosted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, officials from the CDC and CDC Foundation acknowledged several private sector organizations for donating and providing logistical aid to the Zika relief effort.
Consumer companies that donated to the effort and were also recognized by the CDC director included: 3M, Church & Dwight, CRC Industries, RB, SC Johnson, Summit Chemical Company, and United Industries Corporation (Spectrum Brands).
Happi's April issue also looks at the Zika issue.