Lexington-Fayette County Health Department prepares for Zika

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Health officials are pushing Congress for more money to fight Zika.

“We can’t just not address this. this is really a very important thing,” says National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

At the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, officials will soon be starting a survey to help keep mosquitoes away.

Jessica Cobb, LFCHD Communicable Disease Director says the department will be “walking around to people’s home’s and educating them about things in their homes that may be holding standing water that they could possibly dump out or other things they can do to prevent mosquitoes from being in their yard.”

Using past mosquito complaints the health department will be hitting areas with the most mosquitoes first.

“We’ll be treating the bodies of water that we find while doing our surveying activities and that way we can hopefully prevent some of those mosquitoes from developing,” says Cobb.

While this survey is funded by a $14,000 CDC grant, more funding to fight Zika is now stalled in Congress.

The CDC and President Obama are asking for nearly $2 billion to detect and respond to the virus, test mosquitoes which spread Zika, and research vaccines. But some Republican lawmakers including Kentucky’s Hal Rogers told ABC News they need more information.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers says, “Well that letter was generalities. It did not contain the specific information we have to spend taxpayers dollars.”

Dr. Fauci says, “Well, obviously, we disagree with that. We know exactly how we’re going to spend that money and hopefully, if successful, development of a Zika vaccine.”

In Lexington the health department is planning on spraying in June.

Cobb thinks it’s something for people to remain concerned about, but preventing getting bit by mosquitoes is always the best solution.

So far there have been three confirmed Zika cases in Kentucky. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says it’s tested seven samples for Zika.

So far they’ve all come back negative. One is still pending.

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