Schatz Travels to CDC Headquarters Urging Stronger Vector Control Programs
Senator Brian Schatz recently traveled to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters, where he met with top CDC officials to discuss the CDC’s response to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in Hawai’i.
Stronger vector control programs to fight the spread of mosquito-borne viruses were among the items that Senator Schatz called for during his visit.
“Dengue remains a public health emergency on Hawai‘i Island, and with new possible Zika cases in the state, we need more support from the CDC to fight these outbreaks,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. “While we continue to secure more funding, I am pleased we were able to get a commitment from the CDC to address dengue and the threat of Zika in Hawai‘i.”
Eight legislators called on the Senate Appropriations Committee in March to increase funding for mosquito-control programs that would help stop the spread of dengue and Zika.
Senator Schatz took a stand, urging Dr. Tom Friede, CDC Director, to coordinate with state and local governments to improve mosquito-control programs that would help stop the spread of both diseases.
As of last Friday, 263 cases of dengue fever had been confirmed since the outbreak’s onset in September of last year.
Zika scares in the state have also taken place as the spread of the disease through the Americas has been linked with neurological ailments like paralysis and birth defects.
The CDC issued the highest alert level for Zika, and the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency.