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U.S. Congress Passes Govt Funding Bill With $1.1B For Zika

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika are native to Florida.

Late Wednesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a government funding bill that includes money for efforts to combat the Zika virus. The U.S. Senate had approved the legislation earlier in the day.

On a previous Senate vote Tuesday, Democrats blocked the bill from moving forward because it did not include help for people affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

But on Wednesday, after top congressional leaders promised there would be money for Flint after the election, the funding bill had enough votes to pass.

The bill is a temporary measure to avoid a government shutdown. It includes $1.1 billion for anti-Zika efforts. It also includes $15 million for states that have locally acquired cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

So far, that’s only Florida.

Republican Congressman John Mica is praising the passage of the federal funds to fight Zika. Mica is optimistic about funds dedicated to research.

“and that is so key to this, you know child bearing-age women are the most vulnerable and we’ve got have a vaccine, or treatment or cure,” said Mica.

Mica said this vote comes right on time, as$ 589 million made available to fight Zika in April was about to run out this week.

With six new cases reported Wednesday, at last count the state has 115 reported cases of Zika that are not travel-related.

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