Government working to secure money to fight Zika virus

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Agencies working to secure money for Zika fight, Elissa Rivas reports. (KTRK)

For sisters, Laverne Hunter and Sandra Allen, a walk through their southeast Houston neighborhood often includes talk of mosquitoes, especially because of the impending threat of Zika.

"Once I get in the house, I'm stinging, so I know they're out there," said Hunter.

Senator John Cornyn was walked the same neighborhood with Harris County Public Health leaders, who're showing him how the county is tracking the type of mosquitos which carry Zika. Leaders are also demonstrating the need for the $1.1 billion that Cornyn is confident lawmakers will approve by the end of September.

"Get it down here to Harris County, to the states, so they can hire the additional personnel and we can also continue to do the scientific research that will lead to a vaccine," said Cornyn.

Harris County has already added seven new staff members to its mosquito control efforts, and now has its own lab. Starting next week, testing for Zika will only take a matter of a few hours, instead of sending mosquito samples off to other labs and not receiving results for at least a couple of days.

It's the kind of work the county says its doing with residents like Sandra in mind.

"Just tell them to help, they know they need to," she added.

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