This week Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command (Southcom), affirmed Southcom’s role in the “whole-of-hemisphere” approach to combating the Zika virus. Tidd spoke at a Council of the Americas forum on March 22, where he discussed the part Southcom and other U.S. agencies play in the fight against the virus.
“Our Department of Defense, including U.S. Southcom, along with Health and Human Services, U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department, and others are part of a whole-of-government — indeed a whole-of-hemisphere — effort to confront and contain this threat,” said Tidd.
At the forum, Tidd spoke about the security challenges created by the virus, saying “There is no way to predict when or where health threats will emerge.” Tidd also touched on efforts to prepare for, respond to, and prevent the spread of the virus. According to Tidd, these efforts include “Working with our partners to improve access to health systems” to those in effected areas.
The mosquito born Zika virus was recognized as a “major health care crisis” earlier this year after spreading from Africa into Central and South America. There have also been cases of Zika in the U.S. The virus is suspected of causing microcephaly in infants and may also trigger other health issues.
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Tidd: ‘Whole-of-Hemisphere’ Fighting Zika Virus, DoD News