The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing the fight against the Zika virus with $184 million in grants, including about $300,000 for Indiana. Zika can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly.
The money is part of the Zika Response and Preparedness Appropriations Act of 2016 and will help cover the costs of things like preparedness programs, birth defect surveillance and improving mosquito control.
CDC Spokesperson Benjamin Haynes says health officials expect to see the virus in the U.S. 2017, at least in the two states that already have local transmission, which are Florida and Texas.
Haynes says although Indiana is less likely to see Zika, residents, especially pregnant women, should still be cautious when traveling.
“The threat is to pregnant women and the link between Zika and birth defects,” Haynes says. “I mean, that’s our top priority right now, is protecting women.”
Haynes says Hoosiers who are pregnant, or who are trying to become pregnant, shouldn’t travel to areas where there is local transmission of the Zika virus.