Washington, -The warm weather that is arriving in the U.S. is bringing mosquitos and, following last year’s outbreak of Zika, states hard hit by the virus are stepping up their efforts to prevent the spread of the bug-borne illness even as the future of federal funding to combat it remains in jeopardy.

In 2016, Zika � which is known to cause neurological defects in developing fetuses � was found in pregnant woman in 44 states across the country and caused large-scale outbreaks in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Florida and Texas. A CDC report released earlier this month found that one in 10 pregnant women with Zika gave birth to a child with serious birth defects. In the U.S. alone last year, 77 babies died in the womb due to Zika, while 51 babies were born with Zika-related birth defects, Fox news reported.

A warm winter in many of the states heavily affected by Zika could mean the survival of more eggs of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species that transmits the virus.

Last month, federal officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta told health officials from six states hard hit by the virus that Zika funding envisioned to last five years will instead likely run out this summer.

A Senate panel last week approved a bill that authorizes an additional $100 million in grant funding to battle Zika, but the bill still needs to be voted on by the full Senate before summer begins.

With Zika season quickly approaching and a vaccine for the virus still far away from being publically available, Fox News took a look at what some of the states that struggled to fight the virus last year are doing as temperatures rise.(QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency