Health officials waiting for funding to fight Zika

More federal money finally is available to fight Zika, even as the news worsens. Babies who at first seem to have escaped the virus' devastating hallmark defect - an abnormally small head at birth - might not be out of the woods after all.

Brazilian doctors have counted a small number of babies who at birth had a normal-sized head and only later were found to have problems. They have delayed neurodevelopment. At 5 months, one could use one hand but not the other. Later on, some even developed that defect, called microcephaly. The brain and skull weren't growing properly after birth, instead of before.

After months of partisan bickering, Congress last week passed a budget bill that includes $1.1 billion to address the Zika crisis.

Federal health officials said Monday they'd race the money to the researchers and state health departments that need it as soon as possible.

Other priorities include mosquito control, development of faster Zika tests, and hunting possible treatments.

In North Carolina, 66 travel-related cases of Zika have been reported, none of which were contracted located.

The State Department of Health has been working to survey the mosquito population and test for the virus. Health officials say it's unlikely North Carolina will see locally transmitted cases because Zika-carrying mosquitos aren't commonly found here.

So far 13 cases of Zika have been reported in Wake County.

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