The federal government has begun to provide states with assistance related to zika virus prevention and monitoring. On the heels of the first local transmission cases in Miami Florida, Connecticut announced it has accepted roughly $1million in funding to monitor birth defects and utilize preventive measures against the virus, known to cause microcephaly and birth defects in babies born to mothers who contract the virus while pregnant.
According to the CDC, the funding has been rerouted from other previously existing health accounts. As yet, Congress has not passed any legislation or authorized any emergency funding to combat the zika situation.
Connecticut’s Department of Health has said that the funding will be applied to efforts at the Agricultural Experiment Station to monitor mosquito activity and to the birth to three program to provide resources to babies born with birth defects as a result of zika exposure. To date, 45 patients, including 3 pregnant women in Connecticut have tested positive for the virus resulting from travel-based exposure.