CDC Urges Health Officials to Prepare for Possible Zika Outbreak This Summer

ATLANTA – The government urged health officials around the country Friday to get ready now in case there are outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the U.S. this summer.

A Zika epidemic has been sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean, and officials think it’s likely some small clusters of Zika will occur in the U.S. when mosquito numbers boom.

At a “Zika Summit” on Friday, experts prodded some 300 state and local officials gathered at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters to make Zika response plans now.

When West Nile virus — transmitted by a different mosquito — moved through the U.S. about 15 years ago, health officials were caught flat-footed, noted Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

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