No announcement yet.

The fight against Zika canít wait for a vaccine

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The fight against Zika canít wait for a vaccine

    The Fight Against Zika Canít Wait for a Vaccine

    Ranu S. DhillonDevabhaktuni SrikrishnaDavid Beier
    AUGUST 18, 2016
    The next best thing is widespread testing of at-risk populations so new cases can be identified immediately and prevented from transmitting to others. Widespread testing can also pinpoint ďhot spotsĒ where community-wide measures like mosquito spraying should be targeted. This strategy mirrors whatTony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has outlined for stamping out HIV/AIDS, for which there is also no vaccine.

    Currently, however, most pandemic-prone diseases, including Zika, are diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that requires special laboratories and highly trained technicians. These are difficult to scale or decentralize. The United States does not have enough PCR capacity to screen every pregnant woman ó approximately 2% of the total population. Though the Florida government is officially committed to free testing for all pregnant women, capacity is limited and some women must pay $150 to $500 to get tested at private labs. This gap exposes systemic vulnerabilities to pandemic threats and bioterrorism. If we were facing a pathogen more widespread than Zika, how could we test 100% of the population if we cannot even screen 2%?

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela