Maggie Fox reports that “The Zika epidemic and the birth defects it’s causing are both the fault of governments that abandoned programs to control mosquitoes and to provide even the most basic family planning assistance to young women, the head of the World Health Organization said last Monday.
“’Let me give you a stern warning. What we are seeing now looks more and more like a dramatic resurgence of the threat from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The world is not prepared to cope,’ WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan told a meeting of the World Health Assembly.
“Brazilian experts have been pointing out that the country once successfully eliminated the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses. Then the government simply stopped paying for eradication and prevention, and the mosquitoes came back.
“’Above all, the spread of Zika, the resurgence of dengue, and the emerging threat from chikungunya are the price being paid for a massive policy failure that dropped the ball on mosquito control in the 1970s,’ Chan said.
“Chan’s warning echoes what the Obama administration and U.S. health officials have been saying. They charge that public health is not just being underfunded, but cut back at a time when it should be built up to help protect people against new threats like Zika.
The CDC says “More Zika cases are almost certain to come as summer heats up and mosquito season gets under way. The administration is in a desperate fight with Republicans in Congress over funding for Zika preparations.
“’It is not a question of whether babies will be born in the United States with Zika-related microcephaly — it is a question of when and how many,” Ron Klain, the former U.S. Ebola czar, wrote in a commentary in the Washington Post.”
Source: NBC News