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Obama is not impressed that he hasn't been given €1 billion to fight Zika

The House and Senate have advanced bills to fight the virus.

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
An Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
Image: Apexchange

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama is trying to turn up the heat on Congress to pass legislation to fight the Zika virus.

Obama says Congress has “got to get moving.” He warns researchers need time to develop a vaccine, and states need time to ramp up mosquito control programs.

The House and Senate have advanced bills to fight the virus.

The House legislation has a much smaller price tag and only pays for programs through 30 September. Obama has threatened to veto it and is pushing for a deal that comes closer to the $1.1 billion (€1 billion) Senate bill.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other serious brain abnormalities

Obama spoke to reporters yesterday after a briefing from health officials on the virus’ spread. The number of pregnant women in the United States infected with Zika virus is suddenly tripling, due to a change in how the government is reporting cases.

There are now 157 pregnant women infected with Zika in the 50 states, up from the 48 reported last week under the old definition.

Only an estimated 1 in 5 people infected with Zika develop symptoms — fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes — which usually last no more than a week.

Obama repeated his call for the full requested amount.

“Bottom line is Congress needs to get me a bill. It needs to get me a bill that has sufficient funds to do the job,” he said.

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Associated Press

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