10M Zika research fund awarded to universities in Florida
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $10M Zika research fund to four universities in Florida.
The recipients of the funds include the University of Florida, the Florida International University, the University of South Florida and the University of Miami.
Though the specific allocations of the financial aid were yet to be disclosed, the educational institutions will generally focus on the extensive research of mosquito-borne diseases.
In a report by the Miami Herald, Matthew DeGennaro, a scientist at the Florida International University, stated that the rare collaboration of major educational institutions is a rare event which emphasizes the urgency of the Zika management.
"This (the funds) will give Florida the ability to assess new approaches to mosquito control that haven't been tried in the U.S. yet," DeGennaro told the Miami Herald, "The synchronization and the partnership and the money that is provided will, I think, will make Florida's answer to any mosquito-borne sickness better."
Meanwhile, the lead researcher of the University of Florida, Rhoel Dinglasan, told the Miami Herald that Florida was logically chosen as the center of the studies since it is the epicenter of the Zika virus in the U.S.
"There's so much undertaking within our state. That's not just Floridians, there's also crusade from other places into our state," Dinglasan shared. "Mosquitoes are well-traveled. They don't need a passport."
The spread of the virus in Miami last July sped up the research to prevent a full-blown Zika epidemic.
The newly established research facility is named the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases.
The virus infection zone was officially lifted in Miami Beach last Dec. 9 when officials declared the place free from homegrown Zika.
The $10 million fund was taken from the government's official $184 million financial exertions dedicated to the reduction and eradication of the disease.