Zika

Diseases know no borders, as we’ve seen with Ebola, Zika, bird flu, SARS and other infectious disease outbreaks. The Fogarty Center is on the front-lines, creating local capacity to detect and address pandemics where they occur and forging partnerships that keep U.S. scientists on the cutting-edge of research globally. On May 25, Research!America, Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) hosted a webinar on the vital role the FIC plays in global health outbreaks and more. To view the webinar, click here .
In an exclusive Q&A, Lynn Goldman, M.D., MPH, Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University talks to Research!America about the achievements and gaps in the field of public health . You’ve published a paper as part of the Institute of Medicine’s Vital Directions initiative that says we have a long way to go to strengthen our public health system. Why is a strong public health system so important? Despite the fact that we spend a disproportionate amount of our GDP per capita on health and health care in this country, we do not enjoy the highest level of health as measured by basic metrics like life expectancy and infant...
Dear Research Advocate: I am sending my letter out early this week to ensure you can tune into our National Health Research Forum, Straight Talk: New Thinking on Tough Challenges , which will take place tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. ET at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Our expert moderators will press panelists -- top federal officials and other key leaders from across the research ecosystem -- on critical, complex and in some cases, controversial topics in health, research and innovation. It is sure to be a riveting discussion not to be missed. While the Forum is sold out, you can watch virtually with our event live-stream hosted by WebMD. With Congress returning from recess and the end of fiscal...
Dear Research Advocate: The number of Zika cases continues to rise and mosquito season won’t be over anytime soon. Yet Congress hasn’t acted -- a good reason to maintain a permanent public health emergency fund. We have such funds for weather-related emergencies like hurricanes and floods, enabling immediate action whether or not Congress is in session, and we have a similar funding mechanism for public health emergencies...the problem is, there are no dollars in it. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) introduced legislation earlier this year, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Act (H.R. 4525), to provide $5 billion for such a fund. “Labor-H” Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) has also...
Dear Research Advocate: World-class athletes are getting ready to go for the gold in Rio. No one is going for copper, but researchers have found that in healthcare settings, this mineral is a champion when it comes to reducing the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria (one of several public health threats that has received attention in the run-up to the Games). If you are looking for an example of the return on research, this article about the role of copper in reducing hospital associated infections provides an excellent one. Years of investment in research, from discovery science through to trials, can and will pay off for the public with every expectation of many more lives saved in...
Dear Research Advocate: The party conventions mark the official start to the general election. In Cleveland we heard rousing daily themes of “Make America (aspirational word) Again”. I kept hoping for “healthy” or “innovative,” aspirations we know rank high with Americans, but that was not to be. Nor -- at least as of this writing -- have any speakers addressed medical progress. Even so, the official Republican platform recognizes the importance of medical research and innovation for our economy and for patients. The Democratic platform , which will be adopted at the DNC convention next week, in fact makes similar points. We’ll see if research and innovation make it into the convention...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, the House Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittee marked up its FY17 funding bill, which includes funding for NIH, CDC and AHRQ. NIH received a $1.25 billion increase, $750 million less than the Senate increase. Given the subcommittee’s overall budget allocation ($569 million below fiscal year 2016) and the more conservative funding climate in the House, this is still an extraordinarily positive outcome. At the markup, Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04) noted that the $1.25 billion increase set a floor - rather than a ceiling - for NIH funding in FY17, a positive sign for potential negotiations with the Senate later in the process. The House Labor-HHS bill proposes a...
Dear Research Advocate: If you’ve read Ron Chernow’s “Hamilton,” you know that the partisan stand-off we are witnessing in the House, and more broadly across the nation, is not new. Chernow reminds us that political parties -- not originally foreseen by the Founding Fathers -- grew out of intense and often ugly disagreements between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson during the second administration of George Washington. That insight doesn’t make this week’s turn of events less dramatic, but it does offer perspective. In the midst of the Democratic sit-in on preventing gun violence, the House adjourned earlier than expected and won’t resume business until July 5. Just before adjourning...
Dear Research Advocate: The news from the CDC this week is concerning. For the first time in over a decade the overall, all-cause mortality rate for the U.S. is higher than in the preceding year. This unexpected news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement confirming the first U.S. case of an E. coli infection resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, reminding us of just how important it is to curtail and outpace antimicrobial resistance. And we have word of the second baby born in the U.S. with microcephaly due to Zika, as well as a new estimate that 300 pregnant women in the U.S. have the virus. On their own, each of these stories should serve as a wake-up call for...
Dear Research Advocate: Earlier this week, the House passed an inadequate proposal for $622.1 million in emergency Zika funding, falling far short of the bipartisan Senate proposal of $1.1 billion passed this week, not to mention the President’s request of $1.9 billion. Appropriations subcommittee Chairman Cole (R-OK-04) has stated that subsequent Zika funding will come in the next appropriations cycle, but public health experts tell us we cannot wait. (This is especially true since the pattern of the last many years is for appropriations to go undetermined until almost calendar year end.) Summer months are approaching and half the continental U.S. is home to potential disease-carrying...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter