Rhode Island receives $200k to detect Zika birth defects

August 2, 2016 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island will receive $200,000 in federal funding to enhance its efforts to detect microcephaly and other birth defects caused by the Zika virus.

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation announced the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. It will be administered through the Rhode Island Birth Defects Program at the state Department of Health.

Sen. Jack Reed says the funding “will help Rhode Island take necessary steps to mitigate the risks of this growing threat.”

Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, is seeking $1.9 billion in emergency funds to combat Zika. He has hosted CDC officials in Rhode Island to join local infectious disease experts in discussing the state’s response to Zika.

To date, there have been 21 confirmed Zika cases in Rhode Island.