Officials: Zika Much Worse Than Feared

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Zika virus’s growing links to various birth defects and neurological disorders are worse than initially feared. “There has never been a mosquito-borne virus that could cause serious birth defects on such a large scale” until Zika, he said. Frieden and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, used a press briefing Thursday to ask for funds from Congress to help battle the virus. There is increasingly strong evidence linking the virus to microcephaly, which can cause abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains in newborn babies, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition that can cause paralysis. The Washington Post reported that the CDC’s warnings made clear that officials were working to lower expectations that the agency would be able to protect all American pregnant women. Frieden said, “There is nothing about Zika control that is quick or easy.”