As announced last week by the CDC Foundation, RB is donating more than 225,000 Durex condoms to the CDC Foundation for inclusion in their Zika prevention kits being distributed in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to combat the spread of Zika virus. This donation follows RB's creation of a $1 million Zika relief package. The three U.S. territories have reported local spread of the virus from mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All Zika cases reported to date in the continental United States have been associated with travel to areas where Zika virus is active.
"RB is committed to helping people live healthier lives, and I'm proud that RB can help the CDC Foundation and private individuals take action to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in the United States and abroad," said Alexander Lacik, president of North America at RB. "We hope that this donation of Durex condoms and our continued partnership with organizations such as the CDC Foundation will help combat the spread of the Zika virus."
The CDC Foundation connects CDC with private-sector organizations and individuals to build public health programs to make the world a healthier and safer place. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Zika virus disease and its association with severe birth defects a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on February 1, 2016. The CDC Foundation activated its Global Disaster Response Fund and the U.S. Emergency Response Fund in early February to help control the outbreak.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and, according to the CDC, usually causes few to no symptoms in people. However, when a pregnant woman is infected, the virus can spread to her fetus, potentially causing birth defects such as microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with underdeveloped brains. Zika virus also can be spread by infected men to their sex partners. Until more information is known about the virus, CDC is recommending that people (who live in or have sex with people) who have visited at-risk areas use a condom when having sex.
"We are extremely grateful for RB's generous contribution," said Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "Their donation of condoms for the Zika prevention kits will help in protecting people and saving lives'.
"For more than 80 years, Durex has played a leading role in sexual health and bringing people together safely," said Karen Chisholm of Durex at RB. "Each of our condoms goes through a rigorous process to ensure only the highest quality of product reaches our consumers, ensuring that we meet the best international standards as well as our own."