Editorials

Abbott wants best Zika response plan possible

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Three-month-old Esther Kamilly has her head measured by Brazilian and U.S. health workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at her home in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, as part of a study on the Zika virus and microcephaly.
Three-month-old Esther Kamilly has her head measured by Brazilian and U.S. health workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at her home in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, as part of a study on the Zika virus and microcephaly. AP

As the looming epidemic inches closer, Gov. Greg Abbott called on the experts for advice on the state’s Zika battle plan.

Abbott has formally asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the state’s Zika Virus Preparedness and Response Plan.

Texas applied for more than $10 million in grants to aid in the Zika fight, but Abbott wrote that having the CDC’s input before finalizing the plan is crucial.

Zika has become a worldwide health scare since the resurgence of the mosquito-borne virus, but U.S. funding, response and research have been underwhelming.

Congress has been dragging its feet on passing an appropriate bill, and the public doesn’t seem too worried about the virus.

At least Abbott and state lawmakers understand the gravity of Zika, and their preparedness plan could nip the threat in the bud.

The virus, though it has mild symptoms in most cases, can cause birth defects, be sexually transmitted and target developing brain cells.

Links to paralysis and nerve damage have also been reported.

No vaccine or specific medication exists for Zika.

It’s time for Texas to have its own plan, and it looks like Abbott is putting together the best strategy possible before the viral enemy arrives.

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