President to Ask Congress for Nearly $2 Billion in Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Virus

President to Ask Congress for Nearly $2 Billion in Emergency Funding to Combat Zika Virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
President Barack Obama announced Monday that he's going to ask Congress for more $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus, which causes mild symptoms that are usually gone in a few days, but can also result in a serious birth defect where infants have small heads.

The requested resources will build on our ongoing preparedness efforts and will support essential strategies to combat this virus, such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs; accelerating vaccine research and diagnostic development; enabling the testing and procurement of vaccines and diagnostics; educating health care providers, pregnant women and their partners; improving epidemiology and expanding laboratory and diagnostic testing capacity; improving health services and supports for low-income pregnant women, and enhancing the ability of Zika-affected countries to better combat mosquitoes and control transmission. 

As of February 3, 11 states, Texas included, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. have reported cases of people sick from the Zika virus. In every case, travelers became ill from visiting areas with active transmission, except in Puerto Rico, which was a locally acquired case.

There are eight cases in the Lone Star State, including one in San Antonio (the person is virus-free now), and they caught the bug after traveling to an afflicted area. A total of six people were tested in Bexar County, as of January 29.

Only Florida has more cases of Zika virus than Texas, with nine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


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