- Associated Press - Friday, September 8, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A proposal to combat the spread of Zika virus offered by a Maine senator has passed the U.S. Senate.

Independent Sen. Angus King proposed the Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health Act, also called the SMASH Act. The proposal would give states and municipalities more options to try to eliminate mosquitoes.

The proposal now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives. King says the act would reauthorize public health tools that support states and local areas with mosquito surveillance and control efforts. Mosquitoes can carry viruses including Zika, West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

King says the act would also improve public health preparedness through laboratory research. It would reauthorize grants that support state and local health departments in surveillance for and response to infectious diseases such as Zika.

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