Readiness is a daily reality for America’s hospitals. Today, that reality is being tested by a new foe. Health care providers in Puerto Rico have been battling Zika virus for months and now it has reached the continental U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a small cluster of locally acquired cases in the Miami area. Information is the greatest weapon we have in fighting infectious diseases and responding to emergencies of all kind. And hospitals have a role to play in helping spread information about Zika, how to avoid it, and when and where to seek testing and treatment. While we are learning more about Zika every day, we know that most people infected with Zika don’t show symptoms, but the virus can have devastating consequences, especially during pregnancy. A woman infected with Zika can pass the disease to her fetus stunting brain development and causing other severe defects. We are constantly updating our Zika webpage at www.aha.org/zika and highlighting resources from the CDC and others that hospitals can use to prepare if a potential case presents. Hospital leaders are encouraged to use these resources right now to help inform their communities about prevention and what to watch for. We will continually update you on Zika-related developments so you can face this challenge, as you have done so selflessly with public health emergencies in the past. Next week, the Department of Health and Human Services will host a Zika week of preparedness. We’re working on opportunities for hospital leaders to hear directly from CDC experts, as well as new resources. Watch for details in the coming days.

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