By Emma Grey Ellis

To talk about Zika virus control is to talk about money. Vaccine development, mosquito abatement, and even the distribution of DEET repellant takes (and currently lacks) major federal dollars. When, last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared Zika a public health emergency in Puerto Rico, it was in part a means to a better-funded end.

But the real price of Zika, and the reason the disease has gone from arboviral nobody to world-wide bugaboo, is the devastating birth defects that can appear in children born to infected women. While it’s hard to predict how many children will be born with Zika-related neurodevelopmental disorders, it is clear caring for these children will take a toll. And experts are already calculating the cost of a generation of US babies impacted by Zika.


This article quotes Assistant Professor David Pigott, who works on the Geospatial Team at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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