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Florida researchers will lead new Zika research program

Florida researchers will lead new Zika research program. (WPEC)

The University of Florida will lead a new research program focused on stopping diseases such as Zika from becoming widespread in the U.S.

University officials announced Thursday that the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease's Gateway Program was funded by a $10 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The grant is part of nearly $184 million in Zika funding the CDC is awarding to universities and state and local governments.

University of Florida infectious disease expert Rhoel Dinglasan will lead the program. Researchers from the University of Miami, Florida International University and the University of South Florida also will participate.

In a statement, officials said a priority will be training to address a shortage of workers in public health entomology and impending retirements among mosquito control managers.

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