GALVESTON, Texas - The Centers for Disease Control has awarded The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston $10 million to help stop the spread of Zika and West Nile.

The award is a part of the CDC’s funding provided under the Zika Response and Preparedness Appropriations Act of 2016.

“Texas is a gateway for vector-borne diseases entering or emerging in the U.S.,” said Scott Weaver, director of UTMB's Institute for Human Infections and Immunity. “We have seen dangerous viruses spread by arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks, including dengue, chikungunya, West Nile virus and Zika, establishing themselves and spreading, especially in the Gulf Coast region.”

Texas is particularly vulnerable to vector-borne diseases because of its climate, its location at the U.S.-Mexico border, and its major hubs for land, sea and air travel from the Caribbean and Latin America.