Mary has spoken twice in parliament about the Zika virus and the risks to pregnant women in Latin America and across the world. She asked the International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, if the government had evaluated the risks to women around the globe and how British scientific knowledge can be used to help prevent the virus spread. The Minister said that the UK Government is currently assessing its response, and the UK stands ready to help in any way they can.
More research is needed into the link between the Zika virus and babies being born with underdeveloped brains caused by microcephaly - Mary called thisis a high priority. Mary also said, “Developing countries will need support for the mothers of the 16,000 babies predicted to be affected this year alone, to be able to take their family life forward. Therefore diagnostics, antiviral drugs and, above all, a Zika vaccine are essential.”