Congress returns to session in Washington this week, and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski says the Zika virus will probably be one of the first problems under consideration in conference meetings.
The 2nd district U.S. representative appeared in Starke County last week to tour the Therapeutic Community Center.
Walorski commented during her appearance the issue has become a growing concern in parts of Florida.
“With what we’ve experienced in flooding, and with what Louisiana and folks are experiencing, and the horrific things that have happened, I think it’s on everyone’s mind,” says Walorski.
The presence of the Zika virus has brought requests for additional funding to develop operations that could help combat the spread of the disease as well as better understand its spread.
For now, Indiana has largely been exempt from Zika virus reports. More so, central Indiana and parts of northern Indiana have reported a stronger presence of West Nile Virus. Starke County has reported that two batches of mosquitoes have tested positive for the disease.
Rain storms in August created an increase in mosquitoes in the local area. So much so, that the City of Knox announced they would be spraying to limit their populations through the remainder of the summer.
Walorski says combating the issue is not political.
“You know, I think there’s no question across party lines, everybody wants to make sure this country is safe from Zika,” says Walorski.
Whether congress allocates resources this session remains to be seen.
The Indiana State Department of Health says most people infected with the disease will not experience symptoms. Zika virus can spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, but also between sexual partners. No vaccine or specific treatment is available for the disease.