News in Brief

President Obama seeks almost $2 billion to fight the Zika virus

Request to Congress to fund research and diagnostic tests for the virus comes on the heels of first transmitted case in the U.S.

Following confirmation of the first case of Zika transmitted within the United States, President Barack Obama has announced he is sending Congress a $1.8 billion proposal to fight the Zika virus.

The request includes funding for research, development of vaccines, diagnostic testing for Zika virus, and aiding countries in the affected areas. Last week, the chair and ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, D-N.C., sent a letter to the administration calling for action. The administration is expected to brief members of the Senate HELP Committee as well as other key members of the Senate on its plan of action to address the virus outbreak.

Also last week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines recommending how health care professionals should prepare to treat patients infected with the Zika virus. The CDC’s guidelines call for any pregnant women living in infected regions to get tested for Zika. Pregnant women who have traveled to an area with active transmission of the virus also should be tested within two to 12 weeks of their return.

Visit the AOA’s Zika Virus Resource Center for physician resources on the virus.

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