HHS: We Couldn’t Start Distributing Zika Funds Until We Knew How Much We Had
The Department of Health and Human Services answers questions about the delay in doling out money finally approved by Congress.
HHS Defends Speed Of Zika Money Distribution
Department of Health and Human Services officials on Tuesday pushed back on questions about why the department wasn’t prepared to distribute funding to respond to the Zika virus as soon as Congress allocated the funding. “There is a process for being able to spend money within the federal level within guidelines,” said Kevin Griffis, the assistant secretary of public affairs at HHS said on a call with reporters Tuesday, adding that the department has shown “the seriousness with which we have approached this health challenge.” (McIntire, 10/18)
In other Zika news —
Baylor Researchers Study Houston Zika Patient To Learn How The Virus Spreads
The months-long study of a single patient highlights the desperate efforts of researchers here and across the U.S. to better understand Zika, which causes microcephaly, a birth defect in which children have malformed heads and severely stunted brain development. Because the woman in the study sought medical care within a few days of returning, the researchers were able to collect their first samples hours before fever set in, giving them a rare opportunity to trace the virus from the onset of symptoms. One important finding: Zika was detected in vaginal secretions for 14 days after onset, indicating the disease can be passed from a female sexual partner for up to two weeks. (Hixenbaugh, 10/18)