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Funding for Zika is needed

Chances are if you have been outside more than 30 minutes sometime in the past week you landed a mosquito bite or 10.

It used to be mosquitoes were just an annoyance and a source of discomfort and scratched welts in the summer. Then people would joke about getting malaria because they were so bit up. Now people can genuinely worry about contracting the West Nile Virus from the blood-sucking pests. But it doesn’t stop there … enter the Zika virus.

Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the state and each one was due to travel. However, the mosquito that can transmit the disease is here in Mississippi.

U.S. senators last month were united in finding funding to learn more about the virus and how to combat it. It was included in appropriations legislation. However, Tuesday, the $1.1 billion Zika-virus funding package was blocked by Democrats who cited politically motivated language that has nothing to do with Zika.

Democrats and Republicans can clash every day, especially in session. It’s time for them to find a way to write a bill that won’t cause a clash and will do good for their constituents. Health officials’ warnings are getting more and more dire, given the virus causes birth defects and it’s now prime mosquito season.

Let’s hope for the best from our national leaders, but, seriously, go buy some OFF!