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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

Infectious Diseases Society of America endorses King’s Zika virus bill

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) announced its support on Thursday for a bill authored by U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) that aims to control the spread of Zika virus.

The Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health (SMASH) Act aims strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to Zika by reauthorizing and improving mosquito control, improve public health preparedness through laboratory research, and determining how the U.S. can refine and improve mosquito control overall.

“The Infectious Diseases Society of America enthusiastically supports the Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health (SMASH) Act, S. 3039,” Johan Bakken, president of IDSA, said. “We appreciate your leadership in introducing this important legislation, as its implementation would provide state and local public health authorities the tools necessary to carry out surveillance and control efforts for serious threats such as the Zika virus. The federal government must act quickly to help contain the Zika virus in endemic countries, enhance state/local prevention and response efforts, increase epidemiology and surveillance capacity, and support R&D for vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. We fear that some of these efforts are now unnecessarily behind.”

The bill was cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and Curt Clawson (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

IDSA represents more than 10,000 infectious diseases physicians and scientists devoted to patient care, prevention, public health, education and research.