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Zika virus and climate

The article, "Health officials expect Zika virus to reach Maryland" (Feb. 5), informed us that state health officials are on the lookout for the spread of the Zika virus into Maryland. That is great, except for the fact that we need to get to the root of our health issues rather than continually go from one health crisis to the next.

The Zika virus, which has been linked to incomplete human brain development, is one more symptom of a sick climate. As the planet warms, the range of the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus increases, creating health emergencies in places where such diseases never existed before. Unless we limit the risks of climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, we will see more health emergencies in our future.

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Fortunately, the chances that our nation will take effective action on climate change have increased dramatically with the recent creation of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Led by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, and Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat, this new caucus will finally bring both Republicans and Democrats to the table to develop national policies aimed at preserving a livable world for future generations.

The Zika virus is a reminder of the unforeseen consequences we have unleashed with greenhouse gas pollution. The Climate Solutions Caucus offers the hope that we can prevent these consequences from spiraling out of control.

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Sabrina S. Fu, Ellicott City

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