CDC awards Tenn. $1M to help fight Zika

Larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for testing lay in a tray at the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama City, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Panamanian authorities announced on Monday that 50 cases of the Zika virus infection have been detected in Panama's sparsely populated Guna Yala indigenous area along the Caribbean coast. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is vector for the spread of the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will award $1 million to the state of Tennessee to help fight Zika.

The money is Tennessee’s share of about $60 million the CDC is awarding to states, cities and territories to support the efforts to protect Americans from the virus.

The Obama administration has requested $1.9 billion that public health experts identified as necessary to combat Zika and to protect the homeland. That budget has not yet been approved by Congress.

Related: Zika investigations eating up funds, Florida officials say

“Our local, state and territorial health departments are on the front lines in the fight against Zika, and though the necessary funding that is needed isn’t yet available, we cannot wait to provide this essential support,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “These CDC funds will strengthen state and territorial capacity to respond to Zika virus, an increasingly concerning public health threat.”

Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Zika can also be spread through sexual relations.

There currently is no vaccine or treatment for the virus. The most common symptoms of Zika include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting for up to a week.

The Zika infection during pregnancy may cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects.

Related: East Tennessee pregnant women advised to protect themselves from Zika

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