Additional $5.6 million to fight Zika in Florida

Posted at 6:04 AM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 06:04:20-04

MIAMI (AP) — Florida could be getting another $5.6 million in federal funding to assist in the fight against the Zika virus.

The White House reported in a news release Wednesday that President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Florida Gov. Rick Scott regarding what might be the United States' first non-travel-related Zika case.

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The president noted during the call that besides the $2 million that the CDC already provided to Florida, the agency anticipates awarding Florida another $5.6 million in Zika funding through a grant this week.

Zika primarily spreads through bites from tropical mosquitoes. In most people, the virus causes only mild illness, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects for the fetus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says none of the more than 1,300 Zika infections in the United States to date were from local mosquitoes. Fourteen were sexually transmitted and one involved laboratory exposure.

Mosquito control inspectors were at work in Miami-Dade County on Wednesday. Spokeswoman Gayle Love said they've been going door-to-door since health authorities alerted them late last week, spraying to kill mosquitoes and emptying any containers holding water.

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