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Mon May 16, 2016, 01:36 PM

After 3 Months, Congress Ready to Act on Obama's Zika Call

Source: Associated Press

After 3 Months, Congress Ready to Act on Obama's Zika Call

By ANDREW TAYLOR, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON May 16, 2016, 1:54 PM ET

Congress is ready to act on President Barack Obama's long-stalled request for emergency funds to combat the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects and other major health problems.

Obama requested $1.9 billion three months ago for several purposes, including creating a vaccine for the disease, taking steps to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika and helping other countries battle the virus. House Republicans Monday released legislation to provide $622 million; the Senate is likely to endorse a $1.1 billion measure on Tuesday.

Here are things to know about Zika and the government's efforts to battle it:



THE DANGERS OF ZIKA

For adults, the Zika virus can cause relatively mild symptoms such as fever, rash and joint pain. But during pregnancy, Zika can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects, as well as eye problems, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. Zika is commonly spread by mosquitoes and can also be contracted through sexual contact.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/months-congress-ready-act-obamas-zika-call-39148219

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