DiCamillo applauded efforts such as the removal of mosquito breeding sites, targeting the breeds that spread Zika, and other prevention measures such as screens, air conditioning nets, bug repellant and public health education. These actions, he said, can help restrict the transmission of mosquito-borne illnesses for the entire population, which is particularly important as the danger of Zika among adults is becoming more known.
He criticized efforts to promote abortion as a solution to the spread of the disease, saying that this approach misses the point. "If we're going about directly killing people who are part of a society as a means of protecting a society, then we're doing something that's fundamentally self-contradictory."
"It's important to remember that in each of these cases we're dealing with a human life, a human person, who is being impacted by the disease, and at no point does that give us the right as a society, much less as a parent, to directly intend the destruction of that individual," he said.
He added that while it may be "perfectly legitimate for public health authorities to encourage the avoidance of pregnancy," contraception should not be advocated as a legitimate means of halting the disease. Contraption does nothing to stop the spread of Zika, he noted, and the Church teaches that its use is immoral because it violates the nature of the sexual act. "We can't do evil that good may come of it," DiCamillo stressed.
As the Zika outbreak continues in the United States and in the Western Hemisphere more broadly, DiCamillo hopes that prevention methods will follow the lead of Catholic Charities and center around evidence-based strategies of mosquito control and eradication.
"I'd love to see a much greater focus or emphasis on the prevention of the spread of the disease through the prevention of mosquito bites," he told CNA.
"That's I think universally acknowledged by anyone in the scientific community or medical community as being the best way to prevent the disease and any of its harmful consequences – to go to the root and prevent the bites of mosquitoes."