Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are concerned there will not be enough resources to fight the mosquito borne Zika virus this summer. During a conference held in Atlanta last Friday, officials representing the south and southwestern states, expressed the need for a comprehensive plan that puts all of the states on the same wavelength to battle an outbreak.
It was revealed there are currently huge disparities in the level of readiness in many counties. Although there are vector control programs in place, many which began, March1 , states often do not share data or coordinate planning.
Lyle Petersen, head if the CDC’s vector-borne diseases division said, “many of those programs are stand-alone operations.” With warmer weather approaching, the conclave was hoping to come up with a solution that would prevent a worst case scenario with the threat Zika.
They conceded that no comparison could be made to West Nile, which is generally prevented by community spraying efforts. “But the Aedes aegypti (Zika virus) doesn’t venture very far, with an approximate flight range of about 150 yards. So that means more targeted spraying around individual homes, according to Petersen.
Zika is known to cause birth defects and because of this CDC Director Thomas Frieden expressed uncertainty about battling this unprecedented type of health risk. What is known is that a solution needs to be found quickly since, “the mosquito population can double in days and weeks.” Frieden questioned whether officials’ response can keep pace with the mosquito surge.
As they scramble for answers, many officials admit that many duties have been shifted to spend more “significant time” dealing with Zika concerns.