Rep. Castor says fighting Zika starts at home

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On Tuesday U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor joined local public health experts, Hillsborough County Mosquito Control officials and Hillsborough County Healthy Start staff members to rally the community to prepare for and fight the Zika virus.

Castor, D-Fla., said combating Zika starts at home and urged the public to take action now to prepare for the virus, which is known to cause birth defects.RELATED: What to know about the Zika Virus

Debbie Lavine has lived in Florida all her life. She’s used to bugs, especially mosquitoes. “We just try to keep the standing water away and all. We don’t do anything special, but we do spray once in a while,” Lavine said.

Keeping mosquitoes away has become more prevalent with Zika virus cases on the rise.

Breeding is what health officials want to prevent.

On Tuesday officials demonstrated how to protect yourself and your home.

“That’s putting on bug spray, that’s putting on long clothing, that’s protecting everyone from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Jamie Morano with USF Division of Infectious Disease.

More than 90 Zika cases have been reported in Florida. So far, all the cases are travel-related, but doctors fear that could change heading into the summer.

“My suspicion is that … local transmission will arrive at some point,” Dr. Jose Prieto with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital said.

The officials gave a warning to take precautions now, while lawmakers continue to fight for funding to get resources, which would hopefully prevent the virus from spreading.

“We know here in the State of Florida, there have been substantial cuts to our public health infrastructure,” Castor said. “That’s why we’re coming to all of you to say it’s up to the community, can’t depend on Tallahassee and you can’t wait for Washington.”WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: 

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