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Senator Ron Wyden, Eugene Health Officials Talk Zika Research Funding

Associated Press
Credit Associated Press

Senator Ron Wyden met with Eugene health officials to talk about Zika research today (Tuesday). The Oregon Senator sought help and guidance from local officials in order to garner support around funding research for Zika.

Senator Wyden kicked off this meeting by stressing the importance for Zika research—something the senior senator has been pushing since earlier in 2016. The virus’s prominence is highlighted by scores of athletes refusing to participate in the Rio Olympics because of the dangers Zika presents.

“We ought to be supporting research; we ought to be supporting prevention. And we ought to be listening to people who are on the front line," says Wyden.

Those participating in Wyden’s roundtable all agreed there is not enough funding to research it.

“From a public health standpoint, Zika is clearly underfunded, and the funding that we should have had six months ago has yet to materialize,” says Dr. Robert Pelz.

That’s Doctor Bob Pelz. He’s an infectious disease specialist with PeaceHealth in Eugene.

It is known you can contract Zika via mosquito bites, or transmit it to others through blood or sexual intercourse. But there are still many unknowns. One example? Scientists and researchers don’t yet know all the kinds of mosquitos that could become carriers of Zika.

Follow Kira Hoffelmeyer on Twitter @kirahoffy

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Kira Hoffelmeyer
Kira Hoffelmeyer is the inaugural KLCC intern under the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She's a 2016 graduate from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication. Kira loves all things coffee, sushi, words and audio.