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Florida Charity: Zika Raises Risks For Homeless Families

Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Tampa charity is distributing insect repellent and mosquito nets to the homeless to help protect them from mosquito bites.

Metropolitan Ministries President and CEO Tim Marks tells WFLA-TV that he routinely hears complaints about insect bites from families sleeping in parks or in the woods.

Marks says the mosquito-borne Zika virus raises the risks for homeless families.

In a June 14 blog post , the charity asked for help compiling "Zika virus kits" and finding shelter for homeless families. The post said hundreds of families in the Tampa Bay area live in cars, tents and the woods during the summer, and the threat of Zika made those conditions more dangerous for children and pregnant women.

Starting Monday, Metropolitan Ministries will hand out anti-mosquito kits at its Tampa outreach center.