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Tampa Charity To Give Out Zika Kits To Homeless

Those in need can pick up the kits at the Metropolitan Ministries Outreach Centers in Tampa and Holiday.
Courtesy of University of California
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Hundreds of families in Tampa Bay live in their cars, tents and in the woods.

A Tampa charity said that’s why they are distributing kits to the homeless to help protect them from mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika.

<--break->Shawn LaFata of Metropolitan Ministries said the homeless community is especially vulnerable during summer.

"It’s one more thing that they're dealing with,” he said. "It’s not just the heat and the rain, now we're dealing with mosquitos that are carrying viruses."

The "Zika Virus Kits" include mosquito spray, mosquito netting and water treatment tablets to place in standing water. Homeless individuals can also come to one of the group's outreach centers to have their clothes and personal items sprayed for protection.

Gov. Rick Scott last week authorized spending up to $26.2 million on everything from killing mosquitoes to the purchase of Zika prevention kits. The Florida Department of Health will send the money to counties and mosquito districts.

There are more than 200 documented cases of Zika in Florida and all are travel-related.

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Person: Cathy Carter