Emerging Infectious Diseases: Actions Needed to Address the Challenges of Responding to Zika Virus Disease Outbreaks, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Zika virus disease can cause adverse pregnancy and neurological outcomes. Given this ongoing threat, GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to evaluate progress made and challenges faced by federal agencies in responding to the Zika virus outbreak in the United States. GAO examined (1) information on what is known and not known about the epidemiology of the Zika virus, and any challenges with conducting surveillance and epidemiological studies, (2) characteristics of different diagnostic tests authorized during the outbreak, challenges test manufacturers and users faced, and the extent to which FDA and CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] followed their own communication guidance, and (3) the strengths and limitations of available mosquito control methods, and challenges federal agencies face supporting these efforts. GAO reviewed literature and agency documentation, and interviewed federal and state officials about the Zika virus and the U.S. response. GAO also convened an expert meeting with the assistance of the National Academy of Sciences to discuss various issues surrounding the response to the Zika virus. [...] GAO is making five recommendations to FDA and CDC, including that CDC establish a transparent process for providing test manufacturers access to diagnostic tests and FDA and CDC provide information to help ensure that users of diagnostic tests can compare performance. Agencies agreed with four recommendations but raised some concerns with the fifth. GAO has addressed these concerns in the report."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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