In light of the five locally transmitted case of Zika in the RGV this month, the Center for Disease Control has given the state a grant to fight Zika.
The CDC awarded the state $5 million grant for Public Health Preparedness and response in order to fight Zika and prevent more local cases.
It’s still unknown how the money will be distributed, but after confirming four travel related cases of Zika in Hidalgo County last week, local health officials are expecting the south Texas region to be one of the areas that gets a lot of funding.
Eddie Olivarez, Chief Administrative Officer for Health and Human Services says, “At this point, it is up to the discretion of the state to determine how the money will be disseminated, so we’re waiting to hear in the weeks and days to come how that will turn out. But I feel very confident that the south Texas area, definitely along the U.S. – Mexico Border will be in the area that’s of priority to the state.”
Health officials in Hidalgo County submitted a proposal to receive at least half a million dollars from the grant. The money will be used in various ways depending on how much the state decides to give to the county.
Eddie Olivarez, “The funds will be used for a multitude of things. We’re looking at equipment expansion… more sprayers, more back pack sprayers to get into localized areas. A lot of it will be used for prevention education. We’re working closely with various partners in dealing with this. We’re taking this at a very serious level.”
Hidalgo County Health Officials will be meeting with the state health commissioner and Senator Eddie Lucio to discuss the distribution of the funds more thoroughly.
So far, the Department of State Health Services has reported five locally transmitted Zika cases. All of them in Cameron County.