design by Chris Tobar Rodriguez
As Congress remains bogged down in a debate about Zika funding, the number of cases of the mosquito-borne virus in Florida has topped 800, according to figures posted on the state Department of Health website.
The state reported six new cases Wednesday, bringing the overall total to 805. The vast majority of those cases, 639, are classified as travel-related, meaning they have been brought into the state by people infected elsewhere. The state added five travel-related cases Wednesday, with two in Broward County, one in Miami-Dade County, one in Hillsborough County and one in Polk County. Another 71 cases have been transmitted locally in Florida, with one new case reported Wednesday in Miami-Dade County.
Zika is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. The Department of Health said the state has 86 infections involving pregnant women, which are listed separately from the totals for travel-related and locally transmitted cases. Also, the department totals show nine cases involving people who are not Florida residents, another number broken out separately.
Gov. Rick Scott spent part of this week in Washington, D.C., talking with members of Congress about trying to get approval of federal money to help combat the virus. President Barack Obama early this year proposed spending $1.9 billion on the issue, but Congress has not been able to agree on a spending plan.