Wisconsin’s S.C. Johnson & Son is ramping up production of Off!
Courtesy of SC Johnson
By Benjamin Snyder
May 18, 2016

Already, pest-control companies in the U.S. are seeing an uptick in business. Scientists are scrambling to fast-track new vaccines. And wary travelers are rethinking tropical vacation plans. Fears over the Zika virus, which has caused thousands of severe birth defects in ­Latin America, are sending ripples through the global economy. And come summer, the U.S. is likely to start feeling the pressure too. Here, a preview of the costs of fighting the virus.

  • $1.1 billion: Funding that the U.S. Senate has proposed to help fight Zika. Initially, the White House requested $1.9 billion, and congressional Republicans countered with a proposal to allocate $622 million that was leftover from programs to fight other diseases including Ebola. The debate has stirred considerable controversy. “This is an emergency,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “The American people are counting on Congress to act. And instead, we’ve gotten bureaucratic excuses.”
  • 698: Number of locally acquired cases of Zika in Puerto Rico (669 cases), as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands (15) and American Samoa (14), as of mid-May. The regions—particularly the U.S. Virgin Islands—depend heavily on tourism and could take a hit if travelers start booking vacations elsewhere.
  • 50%: Increase in bug-repellent sales so far this year at Off!-maker S.C. Johnson & Son. It expects demand to keep rising this summer (it’s donating some product too). In Brazil, Nielsen says, March repellent sales were up 207% year over year.

Read more: “Could LEDs Help Fight the Zika Virus?

A version of this article appears in the June 1, 2016 issue of Fortune with the headline “The Zika Economy.”

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