Zika Virus News And Updates: New York Mayor Calls On Congress To Provide Federal Funding To Combat Disease

By Elizabeth Anderson, Parent Herald August 18, 05:59 am

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has written to leaders of Congress to back a $ 1.9 billion emergency funding package to fight the Zika virus in the United States. New York City already has 49 confirmed cases of pregnant women that have been infected by the Zika virus and one case of a child born with microcephaly, a birth defect that is caused by the virus.

"The threat of Zika is here, and we need Federal funding to control and contain the spread of this disease," de Blasio said in his letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. De Blasio said that while New York City had launched a $ 21 million plan to combat the Zika virus, federal funding is still essential to support the fight against Zika.

As part of New York City's plan to combat the Zika virus, ABC New York reported that over 3,400 at-risk pregnant women have already been tested for the virus. The majority of New Yorkers who were found to be infected with the Zika virus reportedly got it from traveling to areas where Zika was prevalent while the rest got infected through sexual contact.

According to New York Daily News, there were four New Yorkers who got infected through sexual contact and 489 New Yorkers in total have gotten infected by the Zika virus. So far, there have been no recorded transmissions by local mosquitoes in New York, the report added.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney was quoted in the report as saying that lack approved federal funding to fight Zika has resulted into the use of funds designated for Ebola, which is running out. In a separate report in News Day, said state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Rep. Jose Serrano said that New Yorkers from the Caribbean could face greater risk from Zika from traveling to and receiving visitors in Zika-affected areas.

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