TIME Military

Pentagon Will Relocate Pregnant Family Members From Zika-Affected Areas

The Defense Department is also working on a vaccine

The Department of Defense has offered to relocate any pregnant family members of active-duty personnel and civilian employees stationed in regions affected by the Zika virus.

The voluntary relocation program is accompanied by efforts by Defense Department researchers to develop vaccines, tests and treatment for the mosquito-borne disease, the Military Times reports. The prevalence of the disease in Brazil has been linked to a spike in microcephaly, a birth defect causing babies to be born with small heads. Cases of the virus have cropped up throughout North and South America, prompting the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency on Monday.

Navy Capt. Kyle Petersen told the Military Times that researching tropical diseases like Zika is of particular interest to the Department of Defense, which he says “traditionally targets [these diseases] that aren’t of high interest to pharmaceutical companies because our troops go into tropical countries. We want to make sure they can do their jobs, whether it’s for a humanitarian mission or operations.”

[Military Times]

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team