In the News: Zika is a scientific wakeup call for the world

Dr. José F. Cordero, Patel Distinguished Professor of Public Health and head of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, penned an opinion piece on the Texas news site, The Monitor, this month. He shared his own experiences fighting the Zika virus and the need to expand disease surveillance to birth defects to global public health practiced.


“We moved quickly to get the mosquito nets. As I reached for insect repellent to include in the packages for the pregnant women, I remembered the look in the women’s eyes. It was panic. I felt their fear. The Zika virus had suddenly become personal.

It was January, 2016, in Puerto Rico when my training as a birth defects researcher and my passion for optimal preconception care crossed paths. My team was conducting an ongoing study to examine the role of environmental factors in preterm births. As news of the Zika epidemic spread, our focus whiplashed into a new direction — how to arm the approximately 150 pregnant study participants with the best information to protect themselves and their families against Zika. It was a wakeup call, but an all too familiar one.”

Read the entire piece at The Monitor.

Posted January 18, 2017.