Rhode Island senators seek more funds to combat virus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators are urging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide the state with additional federal assistance to help contain and combat a deadly mosquito-borne illness.

Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter on Saturday to Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC’s director, asking his administration to “allocate funding in a timely manner” to support efforts to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and expedite public awareness.

The senators note the virus has made a sudden comeback this season and Rhode Island is one of the hardest hit states, with at least three human cases and one death.

Deaths have been reported in both neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Rhode Island officials have responded with testing, mosquito monitoring and aerial spraying.

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