The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ought to be ashamed. It is incapable of gathering data in a timely manner, and its failures with Zika viral illnesses is yet another case in point. The latest data on “Pregnant Women with Any Lab Evidence of Zika Virus Infection” as I write this is from July 14. Today is 13 days later.
I can send an email to virtually any place on earth in microseconds. Mongolia, the South Pole, even ships at sea. Yet it takes the CDC weeks to compile data that is vital to our understanding of an illness outbreak.
They want more money. They want a billion plus dollars to fight Zika. Why? Even a third world nation like Brazil can compile data in a more timely fashion. This week’s update, Microcefalia: 1.749 casos confirmados no Brasil, was released July 27 with data through July 23. Four days. You got it, four freakin’ days.
Maybe we should cut the CDC budget to that of the Ministry of Health in Brazil.
The inability of the CDC to collect data in a timely manner is not new. It has happened in every disease outbreak that the United States has seen over the last decade and more. Pandemic influenza, measles, flaccid paralysis, all were reported woefully late by the CDC. There is no excuse for this.