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Statement on the First Locally Acquired Zika Infection in the Continental U.S


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Doctors for America Executive Director Dr. Alice Chen:

“Doctors and scientists have warned for months that the Zika virus was coming to the Continental United States this summer. And, today, the first local cases of Zika transmission have been confirmed in Florida.

“While the arrival of Zika on our shores should not be surprising, it should serve as a wake up call for all Americans, especially pregnant women. Everyone needs to take steps to protect themselves, their families and communities from the virus by using mosquito repellents like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para­menthane­diol, which are safe in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Additionally, Americans should wear long pants and long­sleeved shirts and stay in air conditioned spaces and those with windows and door screens. Be sure to also empty any containers of water near your home.

“Physicians know all too well that the Zika virus puts the lives of our most vulnerable patients at stake. That is why we have been calling upon Congress to approve the funds needed to make sure we can detect, diagnose, and prevent the spread of Zika. Yet, thus far, Congress has failed to act. We urge them to approve this emergency funding necessary to control the impending crisis, which is now a direct threat to the health of the American people.”

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 Doctors for America mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics on the pressing issues of the day to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation.

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