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News & Press: Public Health

Most Americans Want More Federal Money To Stop Zika: Poll

Friday, July 1, 2016  
Posted by: Pia Duryea
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 Source: Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz, June 30, 2016

A large majority of Americans want the federal government to increase funding to prevent Zika’s spread in the U.S. and also help women at risk in affected areas get access to abortion, contraception and family planning services, according to a poll released Thursday.

The virus, which has reached epidemic levels in Latin America and the Caribbean and is likely to spread further this summer, has been linked to serious birth defects in babies born to infected mothers.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s
 survey revealing broad public support for federal Zika spending landed as Congress remains in a months-long stalemate over allocating emergency funds to combat the mosquito-borne virus. On Tuesday, a Senate vote that was split along party lines left a $1.1 billion proposal in limbo.  

There have been
 more than 800 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. — including 265 pregnant women — and all stemmed from travel outside the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in Puerto Rico, CDC figures show, more than 1,800 people have caught the virus, including from locally infected mosquitoes in the territory. The virus also can be spread through sexual contact.

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