- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas officials say they will use nearly $1.2 million in federal funds to fight the spread of the Zika virus.

Eleven people in the state have been infected with the virus, which is primarily spread through mosquitoes, The Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/2bzpcdU ) reports.

The state has received the funds under three cooperative agreements with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The funds are going toward public health emergencies preparedness and response, as well as an epidemiology and laboratory capacity program that includes participation in a nationwide Zika pregnancy registry.

Surveillance, intervention and referral to services for infants with adverse outcomes linked to Zika will also be funded.

Funds will also go toward public education about the virus, which is also spread through sexual contact.

Kansas’ first case was reported in March. No cases of local transmission have been reported, and all of them have been travel-related.

Zika causes a mild illness in most people but can lead to severe brain-related birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy.

Cassie Sparks, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said Kansas residents traveling to an area with local Zika transmission need to take the proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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