Why Congress’ Zika impasse could awaken Ebola menace – Remember 2014, when out of the clear blue sky, Ebola broke out across three West Africa countries, crippling their capital cities, going on to take more than 11,300 lives in 6 countries, including the United States before it was controlled? The lessons from that experience left the world slightly better prepared than it was then to greet the next outbreak. But the funds allotted to control that disease — since shifted to respond to Zika — may run out by October. This article explains why that could allow recent history to repeat itself.
Zika arrives, Congress shrugs – How is the United States different from its Zika-affected neighbors? One way has been the assumption that vector-borne transmission of the virus is not taking place within its continental borders. But with cases multiplying in Florida as the summer and mosquito season wear on, how long that will hold true remains uncertain, and likely hard to monitor well in the absence of funding. Why still no funding to respond to the threat? The latest reason is a congressional response to the emergency request made more than five months ago, that is so “laden with partisan baggage,” as this editorial puts it, as to circumvent its own purpose.
As yellow fever crisis spreads . . . – The false sense of security offered by a stockpiled vaccine is exploded in this article examining challenges to protecting the people of another capital city from an urban outbreak of yellow fever.
Viral hepatitis “kills as many as AIDS or TB” – Another reason to remember that infectious disease preparedness can’t rest on vaccines and treatments alone, but also relies on the capacities to make them available is offered here, with data showing that hepatitis infections and their impacts killed an estimated 1.45 million people in 2013.