Zika Resources

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Legal Developments

Response to the Zika virus disease (Zika) requires an understanding of complex public health issues, including the role of law in controlling the spread of infectious diseases. This page provides resources and information developed by the Public Health Law Program to address potential questions from responders and the public about Zika-related legal issues.

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Legal Developments
  • Legal Authority for Mosquito Control and Pesticide Use in the United Statesexternal icon
    Mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika are a threat both globally and in the United States. Given the potentially serious consequences of Zika, including microcephaly, states have begun to respond by instituting or intensifying mosquito control efforts. Mosquito control often involves pesticide use including aerial application. New and intensified mosquito control efforts have raised questions among many local, state, and federal officials about who has the legal authority to make decisions about pesticide use. This article, published in Public Health Reports, clarifies the breakdown of the legal authority between federal, state, and local government actors with regard to mosquito control activities, particularly pesticide use. [Pepin, D. & Penn, M. (April 2017). Legal authority for mosquito control and pesticide use in the United States. Public Health Reports.]
  • Zika: Selected Law and Policy Resources
    Selected Law and Policy Resources, A list of resources collected and published by CDC’s Public Health Law Program that describe and comment on law and policy responses to Zika.
  • Presentation: Using Policy to Increase Public Understanding and Enhance State and Community Readiness
    Zika Action Plan Summit session on using policy to increase public understanding and enhancing state and community readiness. Downloadpdf icon[PDF – 1.90MB] the presentation slides.
  • Webinar: The Zika Virus: Current Public Health Considerations and What You Need to Know external icon
    This webinar provides analysis of the ever-changing state of the Zika virus, including the most prevalent locations and common causes leading the virus to spread, and the latest best practice approach to diagnosing, preventing, and controlling the virus. The webinar also includes legal frameworks for responding to the Zika virus, such as proper disease reporting, vector control, and emergency declarations, and up-to-date domestic and international policy response.
  • Webinar: Zika Preparedness and Response: A Public Health and Legal Perspectiveexternal icon
    This webinar, co-sponsored by the Partnership for Public Health Law, the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health, provides an overview of the public health problem posed by Zika, discusses the domestic legal framework for addressing the virus, and highlights ways to coordinate health care and public health legal preparedness. (03/18/2016)
  • Executive Orders and Emergency Declarations for the West Nile Virus: Applying Lessons from Past Outbreaks to Zikapdf icon[PDF – 416KB]
    A brief analysis of select uses of local, state, and federal executive powers to combat the West Nile virus. Examining the use of executive powers to address the West Nile virus may inform actions taken to address the threats posed by other mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Zika virus.
  • Zika Virus Microsite
    CDC has created the Zika Virus Microsite, an easily embeddable collection of Zika virus information about developments in the current outbreak, including prevention, symptoms, treatment, and materials for travelers and pregnant women.
Page last reviewed: February 16, 2017