With mosquito season underway, Sen. Cornyn looking for more Zika preparedness

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Mosquito season is in full swing across the U.S. and the diseases carried by the insects are still affecting Americans. Lawmakers in Washington say the Zika virus is still a problem that does not yet have an adequate solution. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) says people need to stay focused on the dangers of the disease.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) says people need to stay focused on the dangers of Zika as mosquito seasons ramps up.

“When it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. And I think people do need to remember that Zika remains a threat,” said Cornyn.

The disease spread fear in Americans last year as it made landfall in the States.

“We’ve done a lot and I think it’s paid off, but I think we have to remain vigilant,” said Cornyn.

He sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to figure out how Americans can remain prepared as work continues on vaccines. Cornyn is urging Texans to work with local health officials on staying safe.

“We have great local public health authorities in Texas who do a good job of monitoring the mosquito population for this disease and warning the public about steps they need to take in order to protect themselves and their families,” said Cornyn.

Congress passed a $1.1 billion funding package last year to combat the disease, but some say more is needed. Dr. Paul Jarris is the Chief Medical Officer at March of Dimes. He says the foot needs to stay on the gas when it comes to fighting the disease.

“We have a tendency in this country that when there’s a fire, we fund the building of a fire station. And when the fire’s over we take the fire station down. Mosquito-born illnesses aren’t going away,” said Jarris.

He says the fight is at a critical point and money will dry up. He is optimistic a vaccine will be available by late 2018.

“We hope to get this under control, but there will always be another condition, another thing developing. So people should become aware and protect themselves,” said Jarris.

In the Trump Administration’s blueprint budget there is a proposed 16 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services.