WOODBURY - The state Department of Health is stepping up the fight against the Zika virus by providing Planned Parenthood clinics with prevention kits.
The kit includes insect repellant, information about the Zika virus, condoms and "mosquito dunks," which kill unborn mosquitoes when dissolved in standing water.
Zika is mainly spread by mosquitoes, but a person can also contract the virus through unprotected sex with an infected partner. Infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related defects including microcephaly, when babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains.
The Zika prevention kits are geared toward pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant.
Planned Parenthood clinics on Long Island have received 200 kits. They will be available free of charge beginning on Monday.
The federal government is also asking all U.S. blood banks to start screening for Zika to prevent the spread of the virus.
State health officials say 650 cases of Zika virus have been recorded in New York to date. Four cases have been found on Long Island.