President Obama has proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America.
While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect -- babies born with abnormally small heads -- and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated to a level 1 activation to accelerate preparedness in anticipation of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the United States.
Five Florida counties have reported Zika cases. All of them are travel related.