Senior U.S. Delegation Travels to Brazil to Meet with Brazilian Counterparts on Coordinated Efforts to Combat Zika

The U.S. Government is committed to working with the international community and specifically with the Government of Brazil to engage in close scientific and public health collaborations to better understand Zika and to expedite the research and development of diagnostics, vaccines, treatments, and vector control techniques. The United States has a decades-long partnership with Brazil on scientific and public health cooperation and we are encouraged by their efforts to bring other countries into the fight against Zika.

As part of this effort, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde is pleased to welcome a delegation of six senior health officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who are traveling to Brazil this week to meet with their Brazilian counterparts to discuss many areas of potential collaboration, including epidemiology, surveillance, clinical assessment, maternal health and child development, vector control aspects of Zika, and studies of possible links between Zika and microcephaly and Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The delegation will be led by HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Ambassador Jimmy Kolker and include senior officials from a number of HHS agencies, including Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and senior officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS.

This high-level meeting is a direct result of the phone calls between President Barack Obama and President Dilma Rousseff on January 29 and between HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Brazil’s Minister of Health Marcelo Castro on February 2 discussing the Zika outbreak and opportunities for the United States and Brazil, the two largest countries in the region, to work together to develop solutions to combat the disease.

For more information about the high-level meeting in Brasilia, contact: Assessoria de Imprensa do Ministério da Saúde: 3315-2005 / 3435.

For more information about this press release, please contact: Press Section at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia by e-mail or by phone (61) 3312-7367 / 7350 / 7364.