Zika and economic inequality | What's Left

The explosion of the Zika virus is devastating lives in Latin America where a connection between the virus and birth defects of the brain have been discovered.

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As the panic has spread, women have petitioned the Brazilian government to relax their abortion laws for mothers infected with Zika. The worry at the international level is just how easily such viruses can be spread.

There is no question that the response to this virus needs to be at the state-level and supported internationally. However, the international medical community is worried that because many of those affected are poor and in poorer countries with two-tier medical systems, many will be without access to high-end medical support services. The virus is exposing huge gaps in the ability of privatized health services to be properly mobilized for such an outbreak. Similarly insufficient public programs were one of the reasons the response to Ebola was so slow.

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