FORT MYERS, Fla.- On Friday morning Gov. Rick Scott announced that he had authorized an additional $10 million in state funds to fight the Zika virus.
In June Scott had used emergency executive authority to authorize $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response. The now $36.2 million in funding will be used as needed for mosquito control, enhanced laboratory capacity and the purchase of Zika prevention kits from Centers for Disease Control.
On Friday he repeated the message he had delivered in Washington earlier this week. He is seeking to break a partisan impasse in Congress that is tying up federal funding for the Zika virus.
Florida health officials have reported that Miami’s Wynwood district and South Beach are the only two neighborhoods where mosquitos are actively transmitting the virus.
Florida health officials have now reported 650 travel-related infections, 86 infections involving pregnant women and 77 cases of Zika contracted within the state.
It is now known that the Zika virus and the two types of mosquitos that carry the virus are in the Tampa Bay area as well. There are three confirmed cases of it in Hillsborough County.
Local mosquito control and health officials are telling Bay Area residents not to panic yet though. Mosquitos are part of Florida and while there is no treatment and no vaccine, prevention is the key in controlling the virus.
But still there is a lot that health officials don’t know about the virus. Of course there is the known birth defect that Zika has been linked to called microcephaly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says knowledge of the virus is evolving though.
Only about one in five that do contract the virus show symptoms which include fever, rash and joint pain.
The mosquitos that carry the Zika virus are very prevalent in the Bay Area, and only bite humans, making trapping them difficult.