Provide state and local senior officials with information and tools needed to improve Zika preparedness and response within their states and jurisdictions.
Increase knowledge on the latest Zika science, including implications for pregnant women.
Increase knowledge of best communications practices, including crisis and risk communication principles.
Accelerate readiness for local Zika transmission through training and technical assistance to states to help establish and support surveillance and share best practices for vector control.
Identify possible gaps in preparedness and response at the federal, state, and local levels, and help to begin to address possible gaps.
As information is gathered in advance of summer, we learn that Aedes aegypti is present in a larger area that previously thought. This increases the high risk states from 12 to 30. Contracting Zika during pregnancy is associated with numerous birth defects, not just microcephaly. Prevention efforts will include promotion of insect repellent use and placing screens on doors and windows. The effort will include many federal agencies such as HUD which owns a lot of low income housing that may need window screens. The effort will require money, but the cost of prevention is outweighed by huge potential lifelong costs of an increase in birth defects. Congress has still not appropriated the money required for funding.