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Congress: Approve emergency funding to fight Zika

This petition had 30,383 supporters

The Zika virus, a disease linked to birth defects, has already spread through South and Central America and the Caribbean—and now it’s reached the United States. There are more than 800 confirmed cases across the U.S. states and territories, and 1 in 5 people in Puerto Rico—hundreds of thousands—could become infected by year’s end. And experts are warning that the disease could spread further into the U.S. this summer than previously expected.

We need to take action to fight Zika—fast.

The disease is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have confirmed its link to microcephaly, a birth defect where babies are born with too-small heads and often experience developmental delays.

We don’t yet know all of the health risks associated with the virus or how far mosquitoes carrying the disease can travel, but we need to do everything we can to stop the spread. That includes developing a rapid diagnostic test for Zika, a vaccine, and a treatment. We also need to step up mosquito control and abatement and make sure everyone knows how to protect their families. And we need to improve access to reproductive health care services, including family planning.

But we can’t do these things without the right resources.

Two months ago, President Obama requested emergency funds to fight Zika. In recent weeks, he announced that he would re-direct Ebola funds for this purpose. This is an important first step, but it’s not enough. Congress must immediately act and provide needed emergency funds so the President and his Administration have all the tools they need to address Zika both here and abroad.

And we must demand that action. Add your name and call on Congress to address this public health crisis by immediately providing emergency funds to fight the Zika virus.

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