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Zika virus disease outbreak in 2014 created lots of turmoil among the healthcare organizations worldwide. Many countries and territories were involved in the process of virus localization, which is claimed to occur in Brazil and spread over large territories by infected mosquitoes. As Musso, Nilles & Cao‐Lormeau (2014) state, Zika infection carries potential danger for everyone especially pregnant women since it can cause serious complications during pregnancy and even lead to brain defect of an infant called microcephaly.
Naturally, the problem could not remain unnoticed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) was formed to take measures regarding the virus and combat the consequences caused by it. The coalition is known to act on behalf of the US government healthcare department.
The main purpose of the professional coalition is to understand and better control Zika virus. As to its objectives, the coalition operates to collect and compare data from 28 big cities of the United States in order to figure out a gross appearance of the incidence (Waltz, 2016). The Big Cities Health Inventory data platform currently serves as the major tool of data collection and objectives fulfillment. It shows data regarding all the infectious diseases and epidemic bursts that currently take place on the controlled territories. The platform is the first of its kind to provide data analysis on a city level since previously those were only represented at a state or country level only.
A professional coalition consists of the 28 largest urban public health departments. The departments represent approximately one in every six Americans involved in a public health community. Waltz (2016) highlights that with an introduced platform providing a large-scale monitoring of the biggest cities it has become even easier for users to find out how exactly city populations are faring on one of the biggest health challenges of the present. Such an unprecedented level of citizens’ involvement forms a formidable background for the coalition expanding and including more clinicians and healthcare organizations into its number.
The Big Cities Health Coalition has established rigorous clinical monitoring to detect Guillain-Barre Syndrome or any other infection reoccurrence and act with no slightest delay. Considering that a transfusion-related virus transmission is a huge risk, molecular screening was implemented for blood donors throughout the biggest cities of the United States. It should be noted that back in spring 2016 US Senate voted for issuing $1.1 billion to the coalition to fight the occurring epidemy.
These funds were used to develop the first of its kind software platform, allowing for more efficient monitoring of the incidence and assigning more units to deal with the problem on a local basis. Providing a shared value to the BCHC membership created a favorable environment for improving the infrastructure and forming the local health departments, subordinate to the central coalition office. Such complex measures gave nudge for building a strong organization and fostering the leadership development (Musso et al., 2014).
In closing, one should stress that the US Government took serious measures regarding the Zika virus spread prevention. The formed Big Cities Health Coalition used all the available funds and assets to localize the virus and stop its further reoccurrence. The presence of such constituents as the Big Cities Health Inventory data platform and sufficient human resources created a suitable environment for fast responding to the issue and establishing a strict control over the healthcare situation in the largest cities.
Musso, D., Nilles, E. J., & Cao‐Lormeau, V. M. (2014). Rapid spread of emerging Zika virus in the Pacific area. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 20(10), 595-596.
Waltz, E. (2016). GM mosquitoes fire first salvo against Zika virus. Nature Biotechnology, 34(3), 221-223.