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Portman Says Youngstown May Be Key in Fighting Zika in the U.S.

The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and is linked to severe birth defects.
The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and is linked to severe birth defects.
The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and is linked to severe birth defects.
Credit WKSU
The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and is linked to severe birth defects.

  Sen. Rob Portman sees a big role for Youngstown in the national fight against the Zika virus.

The Senate moved ahead this week with a plan to direct more than a billion dollars toward fighting the Zika virus. It’s far less than the White House requested, but nearly twice what House Republicans have proposed.

Sen.  Portman says he’s also working to get more resources for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, which has the only fixed-wing fleet in the U.S. government devoted to mosquito spraying.

“And I believe they have a huge role to play here, and I have been working with the secretary of the Air Force to give them better equipment, better tools to be able to lay a bigger role in this to be able to have some mosquito abatement going on right now  before we get into the summer. In my view that could make the biggest difference of all."

About 500 cases of Zika have been diagnosed so far in the U.S.

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