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Published On: Thu, Apr 27th, 2017

Bill Nelson’s mosquito control bill, the SMASH Act, passes committee

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday approved legislation to bolster local mosquito-control efforts to curb the spread of the Zika virus.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson

The legislation filed earlier this month by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) would authorize an additional $100 million per year in grant funding to local mosquito-control efforts to eliminate the mosquitoes responsible for spreading the virus. It would also authorize additional funding for public health laboratories so they can better test for the virus, and would require the Government Accountability Office to find ways to improve existing mosquito-control programs.

“One of the best ways to curb the spread of the Zika virus is to eliminate the insects known to carry it,” Nelson said. “As summer approaches, Florida’s mosquito population is going to rise, and we need to make sure our local mosquito-control boards have the resources they need to protect their communities.”

With more than 1,300 cases of the virus reported last year, no state has been harder hit by Zika than Florida.

The bill, which Nelson filed along with Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

 

 

Aedes aegypti
Image/CDC

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