By Cheryl Katz
PUBLISHED Mon Feb 01 05:30:13 EST 2016
Update: The World Health Organization declared Zika a global emergency on Monday. The declaration by the UN agency likely will increase funding and research efforts to control the outbreak.
Somewhere beneath the mounds of snow covering Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill district, just steps from the Library of Congress, a cluster of tropical mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika and other viruses is holed up, waiting for spring.
“Looking forward, climate change is a clear risk for burden of a variety of infectious diseases,” says Kristie Ebi, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health, who studies the disease impacts of climate change. “The question is, will public health agencies be up to handling the risk?” she asks. “And the second part is, will those efforts be sustained?”