Obama seeks $250M to help Puerto Rico fight Zika

AP News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2016 11:20 AM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Obama administration is seeking $250 million in federal funds to help Puerto Rico fight an increase in Zika cases after the governor declared a public health emergency.

The U.S. territory's representative in Congress says the money would be used in part to help boost health services provided to pregnant women. Pedro Pierluisi said Monday that the money also would be used for prevention and detection.

The island has 22 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus. Among them is a pregnant woman in her first trimester and a man who developed a temporary paralysis condition known as Guillain-Barre. Researchers have tentatively linked the virus to birth defects.

President Barack Obama will ask Congress to approve the funds for Puerto Rico as part of a $1.8 billion emergency Zika funding request.