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Rick Scott to talk Zika in D.C.

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott is heading to the nation’s capital to “meet with Congressional leaders on Zika preparedness,” his office announced.

His daily schedule shows him departing the Enterprise Florida board meeting in Naples, his hometown, and departing for Washington, D.C. later on Wednesday.

He is then scheduled to meet with seven of Florida’s members of Congress and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Florida now has 109 reported cases of Zika, all travel related, according to the Department of Health.

Most adults can weather the symptoms of a Zika infection: Mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.”

But pregnant women are most at risk. According to the World Health Organization, Zika may cause their children to be born with microcephaly, a rare neurological condition resulting in a smaller than normal head and underdeveloped brain.

After the EFI meeting, Scott told he has been talking with people across the state about their concerns over the spread of the Zika virus. He hopes to convey those concerns to congressional leaders during his visit this week.

“Everybody wants to make sure we’re helpful to our mosquito boards,” the governor said. “Everyone wants to make sure that we have the right testing, and we’ve tested about 1,000 people so far. But with the weather — the rain, the heat — and people going to the Olympics, we just got to get ready.”

Scott will meet with Congressmen Mario Diaz Balart, Carlos Curbelo and Gus Bilirakis at 2:30 p.m., the schedule shows.

At 3:10 p.m., he’ll sit down with Congressmen Ander Crenshaw and Tom Rooney.

Scott meets with Congressmen Curt Clawson and David Jolly at 4:15 p.m.

Finally, he meets with Rubio at 5 p.m., then will hold a press conference at 5:30 in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.

Later, he plans to attend a Council of 100 reception at 6:45 p.m.

Southwest Florida correspondent Jenna Buzzacco-Forester contributed to this report.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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