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Gillibrand Urges Feds To Fight Zika Virus

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has penned a letter to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to accelerate development of a vaccine and treatment for the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Gillibrand called the spread of the virus, which has been found in at least 24 countries and territories and is linked to birth defects in pregnant women, “deeply disturbing.”

At least a dozen Americans have contracted the Zika virus. It has been found in those returning from travels to affected areas outside the country and is not believed to have been transmitted in the continental U.S.

The Democrat says she will also urge her colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide emergency funding to the NIAID to support the development of screening, treatment, and prevention technologies.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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