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Health Experts, Others Urge Congress To Aid In Zika Funding

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control

As Congress returns to Washington from a week long recess, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services along with the March of Dimes and others are calling on Congress to step up in finding a vaccine for the Zika virus.

They are stressing the need for emergency funding in order to help with research.

Dr. Karen DeSalvo, acting assistant secretary for HSS said Congress isn’t doing their job.

“Families are worried about Zika’s impact on their lives and Congress hasn’t yet acted,” she said.

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and creator of whattoexpect.com,  said this issue effects moms and babies and they are our future.

“There is no better investment in our future than the health and well-beings of moms and babies,” she said.

Southern parts of Florida are already at risk. Right now it’s being transmitted by mosquitoes to people in Miami-Dade, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties.

This is why Chelsea Platas, a mother from Palm Beach County, is scared of being pregnant until this issue is solved.

“Personally, I am incredibly disappointed in the fact  that Congress hasn't  done anything about the Zika virus yet,” she said. “One of the most basic jobs of Congress is to protect Americans from threats and they aren’t doing that.”

Chief Medical Officer of the March of Dimes, pediatrician Dr. Edward R. B. McCabe says the issue is frustrating.

“It’s difficult for me to contain my outbreak. We have lost an entire summer on ZIka prevention.”

Congress will return Tuesday.

Andre Roman can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or Twitter at @adromanify

Andre Roman is a senior studying multimedia journalism at the University of North Florida. He is also the creator/host/producer of the the radio/podcast show One Tank Radio.