- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government must act quickly to contain the Zika virus that has infected people in 23 countries in the Americas.

Schumer is pushing for a three-point federal plan to fight the mosquito-borne virus.

The New York Democrat said Sunday that the U.S. Agency for International Development should increase its involvement in Zika-affected countries.

Second, Schumer says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health should begin a crash program to develop a vaccine for Zika.

Additionally, Schumer says the U.S. should push the World Health Organization to publicly declare a health emergency.

Schumer says his plan will help to beat back the Zika virus globally.

Zika is has been linked to serious birth defects.

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