In testimony during a Senate hearing, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that it is “too soon” to advise women about birth defects that may be linked to the Zika virus because little is still known about the virus’ effects on an unborn child.
“You know we’re really at the beginning of understanding Zika in pregnancy,” Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, M.D. emphasized in her testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, continuing:
We don’t know, if a woman has laboratory-confirmed Zika in pregnancy, exactly what that means for her and her baby. You know with something like a Down Syndrome test or some of the genetic testing that’s done, there’s a lot of science behind the counseling that goes on with the family about what that means for the pregnancy, but with Zika we really don’t know.
“We don’t know that a child is going to be born with microcephaly until the child is born – the delivery?” Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) asked.
“The clinicians will do serial ultrasounds to see whether it looks like the brain is developing okay or whether there are calcifications or some other warning signs, and we don’t have a big enough experience to know how predictive the findings are,” Schuchat responded.
We’ve had examples where the ultrasounds were looking okay but the baby wasn’t okay and others where there seemed to be problems and then the baby turned out to be okay. I think it’s too soon for us to have a very confident set of information to counsel women with about just what to expect and how to plan.
Schuchat’s testimony comes as Planned Parenthood claims its abortion business is best suited to battle the Zika virus with birth control to prevent pregnancy and abortion.
“We are the front line of defense when it comes to battling Zika,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said Thursday, criticizing Republicans who refused to provide additional funding to the abortion giant in a bill to help combat Zika.
Laguens said it was “shameful” for Republicans “to undermine the ability of family planning providers like Planned Parenthood to do what we do best in the midst of this rapidly spreading Zika virus, a public health crisis that directly targets women and children.”
As Breitbart News has reported, Planned Parenthood has been taking advantage of fears surrounding the Zika virus and the birth defect known as microcephaly that has been linked with the virus. The abortion giant is particularly targeting Latin American countries that have restrictive abortion laws, in hopes of capitalizing on women’s fears and changing those laws.
However Col. Christopher Zahn, M.D., vice president of practice activities for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), also testified at the Senate hearing and agreed largely with Schuchat:
The only thing we really have once a woman tests positive to determine what her outcome might– the fetal outcome might be is following with ultrasound, and certainly, there are severe outcomes that may develop, and those are – I shouldn’t say obvious but – relatively obvious and should be apparent for counseling.
Other times, it’s a little bit more subtle and it may not really show the effects until after birth and furthermore as was mentioned earlier we don’t know if the virus will continue to attack the brain neurons, the nerve cells even beyond birth and what the impact of that might be.
Zahn said the situation “really becomes challenging, because we don’t have a confirmatory test to know if the fetus is going to be clearly affected and to what degree, the ultrasounds add time.”
“You can imagine the psychological stress that that creates and the anxiety, so it’s really unfortunate that again even with the testing that we do have knowing whether or not the fetus will be affected and to what degree is very challenging,” Zahn explained.
According to the Senate committee:
As of June 22, there were 820 cases of Zika in the continental United States.
In Wisconsin, there are six confirmed Zika cases related to travel. Puerto Rico has confirmed over 1,800 locally acquired Zika cases, with predictions that roughly 20 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million inhabitants will contract the virus this year. Eight women across the United States and its territories have had adverse pregnancy outcomes related to Zika.
Since the start of the epidemic in Brazil, more than 1,500 babies have been born with Zika-associated microcephaly or nervous system malformation. About 80 percent of people with Zika exhibit no symptoms.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recently explained that during the 1950s and 1960s, Brazil successfully eliminated the mosquito carrying the Zika virus through the use of DDT.
In a piece at Sunshine State News, Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) writes:
The key public health measure is mosquito control. Mosquito-borne diseases, after a time when it was thought that even malaria might be wiped out, began increasing worldwide when the U.S. banned the most effective public health weapon of all time: DDT. If Zika causes rethinking of this disastrous decision, even though other deadly threats like malaria have not, it will save millions of lives—and even help us win the war on bed bugs.
Despite their expressed concern about the spread of Zika, Democrats rejected a bill that would end a redundant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirement to spray federally approved pesticides into bodies of water to combat the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.