Gov. Bentley approves use of emergency funds to help fight Zika virus

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that he has approved the use of emergency funds to support the state’s efforts against the Zika Virus.

Governor Bentley approved the use of emergency funds up to $250,000 to assist in mosquito control efforts, after the Alabama Department of Public Health requested assistance with Zika mitigation funding.

“As we continue to see cases of Zika around the country, we want to make sure Alabama is prepared as possible to respond quickly, should the need arise,” Governor Bentley said. “The funds that I have authorized are available if Alabama needs to respond and if ADPH needs to move quickly with mosquito control efforts. We do not expect the need for these funds, but I am glad to ensure the state is prepared to respond immediately to the virus.”

“We are very pleased that Governor Bentley has approved the use of emergency funds to assist us with combatting Zika in Alabama, State Health Officer Dr. Tom Miller said. “It is very likely that we will have local transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitos like Florida is now experiencing. These funds will assist us to respond aggressively to protect our citizens. This is especially important for pregnant women and their unborn babies since Zika can cause severe birth defects.”

The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to work with a variety of partners to prepare, protect, and educate Alabamians to meet the challenges of the virus. Major efforts of the department include consulting with the medical community to identify which individuals need to be tested for the Zika virus and working with medical providers and individuals who have tested positive.

Public health environmentalists have been working with communities to reduce mosquito breeding. They also conduct courtesy yard inspection of people in the vicinity of those who have tested positive for Zika.

The Alabama Department of Public Health continues to follow closely the current situation with the Zika virus and adjusts the state’s response plan accordingly.

-Information issued by Gov. Bentley’s Press Office