Florida. Sen. Marco Rubio assured local officials that Congress would provide funding to combat the quickly spreading Zika virus, with a particular emphasis on funding for vaccine research.

"There is no crisis, this is an issue that we are going to confront, we want to get ahead of these issues," he said during a meeting with officials from Florida and Puerto Rico. "The best way to confront something is before it becomes a crisis, you prevent it."

Of the 300 Zika cases on the U.S. mainland, 82 people have come in Florida, placing the state at the forefront of a problem that evokes memories of the Ebola scare of 2014. Puerto Rico has seen 327 cases.

About $500 million of unspent money that Congress allocated for the ebola crisis has been redirected to stop the spread of Zika. President Obama has asked Congress for $1.9 billion to fight the virus, but Republican lawmakers have suggested the administration use leftover Ebola funding instead.

Rubio said that any further funding for the Zika virus needs precise limitations to prevent it from being abused.

"As we've seen often times in the past, like after Hurricane Sandy, you all of sudden find that areas around the country that had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy were receiving part of that money because they had a politically powerful senator or congressman that were able to get their hands on some of that money," Rubio said. "If we are going to spend $1.9 billion addressing the issue of Zika, it should be spent on addressing the issue of Zika."

In an apparent attempt to prevent alarm from spreading while the congressional debate continues, he also outlined a series of precautions that Florida residents can take, such as "make sure that your pool is not going green" and using mosquito repellant. Zika is primarily spread through the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

"The majority of the work it will take to ensure that we can protect our people is on people," Rubio said. "I think a lot of this is about going to people and saying there are simple, commonsense things you can do not just to protect yourself from Zika, but to protect yourself from any mosquito-borne illness, which has confronted mankind forever."

Zika causes a mild illness, but officials increasingly believe it causes a birth defect called microcephaly and a rare neurological disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.