The Osterholm Quotes

"We'd all like it to be the peak of the outbreak, that would be wonderful. At the same time, I see nothing that supports that."
"The bottom line message is: If you’re going to share body fluids with Zika, there’s a risk."
"I really believe the worst is yet to come with Zika throughout the Americas. It has not peaked."
"We're going to see this [Zika] likely peak in the next 12 to 18 months in terms of the number of new infections. And then as more people become infected, and recover, the transmission dynamics will drop."
"Why should we have to wait until the crisis is right upon us before we act? Africa is like a gas can waiting for the yellow fever match to hit it."
"The CDC doesn't have the resources to be in every community. It's not the national health department. That would be like asking the FBI to provide local police service."
"We probably will respond to Zika with some urgency. But just know that these other crises are going to take a back seat. The public will get what they pay for in public health."
"The take-home message is you have to consider any kind of intimate contact between an infected person with Zika and a non-infected person as a potential risk situation, regardless of gender."
"I give [the CDC] credit for making clear and unambiguous statements about the [Zika-related] neurologic complications."
"Now we can get on with the debate about how to stop it."
"If West Africa was a gas can waiting for the Ebola match to strike, megacities in equatorial Africa are the gas tankers waiting for an Ebola spark. We simply cannot let this opportunity to prepare for the next outbreak pass us by."
"We should have been primed for the fact that an outbreak of Zika was going to happen."
"That could outstrip capacity that would be likely in the Americas. The warning in the study abstract is right on the mark."
"Despite the industry pointing its finger at the wild birds, [the evidence is] just not there. It was not the source of widespread [avian flu] transmission to many operations throughout the Upper Midwest."
"They [WHO leaders] don't have the authority to do anything. They don't have the resources to do any of it. If we blame WHO for this [response to Zika], shame on us because we're continuing to miss the lessons of these crises. The world's public health governance is a mess."
"If you have an infectious agent that causes Guillain-Barre syndrome, you have to be concerned that the vaccine could cause Guillain-Barre syndrome."
"There are so many holes in this ship. Even if we bail it out as much as we can with all our strength, we might still be sinking."
"What has been unfortunate is this debate for the last month of whether the link [between Zika virus and microcephaly] is proven or unproven. We had clear evidence for public health officials to take action a month ago."
"Why would any private sector company want to invest in these [Zika virus] vaccines? [Companies] are not philanthropic organizations."
"What’s fueled A. aegpyti [the mosquito that transmits Zika virus] is the overabundance of nondegradable biomaterials. Cleaning it up doesn't take research. It takes a will to do it."
"Zika is here to stay in the Western Hemisphere. . . . Even if we make vector control efforts a major initiative, it will only reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of Zika. What we need next, urgently, is a vaccine."
"Some believe we need more scientific data to confirm these more severe manifestations. I don’t agree; I believe the evidence is already compelling."
"Some critics are suggesting that such vaccine research for Zika should have been done years ago, but this isn’t entirely fair. It was only in the past 2 years that there was any indication this virus could cause serious human disease. Now we have to catch up. But it’s going to be complicated."
"We're going to be living for quite a few years in a Zika, vaccine-free world."
"These mosquitoes have adapted very well to our throw-away society. It's not in the swamps where the mosquitoes that spread malaria live. But that discarded fast food wrapper in the ditch could be a very important source of Aedes."


Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation 3MGilead Become an underwriter»