HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Mayor Sylvester Turner has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency and is seeking state funding. Illegal dumping of garbage and standing water adds to the problem when it comes to battling Zika.
More than 33 percent of confirmed Zika cases in Texas are in Harris County. With the hot summer months approaching, the amount of cases may increase and medical treatment is expensive. It will cost around $10 million per child affected with microcephaly, as compared to the $3.6 million the City of Houston has spent to date fighting illegal dumping grounds.
The additional funding will help the City to purchase new equipment and increase trash collection frequency beyond the weekends. It's illegal trash piles and standing water areas that are breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry Zika. The next step for the City to receive additional state funds is approval from Governor Greg Abbott, which hopefully will take place in the next couple of days.