The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on March 2 to examine the United States’ response to the Zika virus.
The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), had nine witnesses provide testimony concerning the U.S. Public Health Response.
“The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne pathogen, is currently rampaging through South and Central America and in total, has spread to more than 48 countries and territories,” Murphy said. “While as of late February there had been no known locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported in the continental U.S., over 100 travel-associated Zika virus disease cases have been identified in over 20 states. Public health officials in the U.S. are bracing for the time when Zika passes from a traveler with Zika in his or her blood to a local mosquito, and then to another person.”
The virus has spread across Latin America and is expected to spread across the U.S.
“In response to public health concerns about Zika virus, NIAID has accelerated ongoing flavivirus research efforts to speed the development of tools that could help control current and future outbreaks of Zika virus,” Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, said in his testimony.