NATIONAL. Health groups pressure Congress on Zika funding (Politico Pro)

Dozens of major public health and physician organizations are calling on Congress "to immediately provide" emergency funding to gird against the threat from the Zika virus, citing a "brief window of opportunity" to "avert a wave of preventable birth defects."

The letter posted this afternoon comes amid growing pressure on Congress to act on President Barack Obama's request for $1.9 billion in funding to boost mosquito control, vaccine development and public education. Zika has swept across much of Latin America and been linked to thousands of cases of babies born with abnormally small heads and other birth defects.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes, and other health experts are hosting a press call this afternoon to demand action, after the CDC highlighted funding needs during an all-day Zika summitFriday.