Protect the public purse: Zika not worth billions

Dear Editor, Hillary sounds the alarm about the dreaded Zika virus and says we need to spend billions of dollars to combat it. As far as I can tell, this virus is transferred by mosquitoes or having sex with infected individuals. There are usually mild flu-like symptoms, or nothing at all in many cases. Unfortunately pregnant women have a 14 percent risk of a terrible birth defect to their unborn child. As far as I know, there have been no reports that this disease is permanent and lasts longer than six to eight weeks in the infected, just like flu, or other viruses. The only defense is mosquito eradication or the avoidance of mosquito bites. Nothing can be done for the poor pregnant woman who is infected. She can take her chances or get an abortion. All the money in the world will not change that. The uninfected woman has defenses that are effective. She can avoid areas where the mosquito exists (only in the Southern states or Latin America.) If she goes to those areas she can use mosquito repellant that is cheap, available and safe, and if she has intercourse with someone who has been to those places she can use birth control or abstain for the six to eight weeks the disease runs its course. This is not polio, cholera, or even influenza. An informed person can easily avoid the horrible birth defect consequences of this virus, and anyone else who contracts the virus really doesn’t suffer too much. So why do we have to pony up billions to combat a disease which affects very few and can be prevented with simple inexpensive measures. The answer is the Hillarys of this world see the political advantage of creating a panic, then wasting billions with little effect other than political. To our Montana representatives, you know federal money is not needed to address this problem. Florida and other southern states have had mosquito abatement programs for years. Repellant costs less than a happy meal, and birth control is not only inexpensive but free under Obama care. Please don’t use the “vaccine” justification. You know the FDA would not approve it even if it is developed when such a small group of people are infected. Other vaccines have been developed but never approved for public distribution for that very reason. Do your jobs; protect the public purse. Gary Fitzpatrick Lewistown

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