EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was calling Wednesday for an immediate federal response to the growing Zika virus crisis.

As WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported, more than 7,300 Americans have been infected with the mosquito-borne virus, and nearly 1,000 pregnant women show signs of infection.

Fifteen children have been born with birth defects as a result.

Menendez on Wednesday was calling for an emergency session of Congress to approve federal funding to respond to the crisis. For him, it is personal.

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“My daughter is five months pregnant with her first child and what would be my first grandchild,” Menendez said. “She lives in Miami in the eye of the storm.”

Menendez said federal funding would advance development of the Zika vaccine and provide state and local governments with the resources to continue preventative mosquito control efforts and respond to health emergencies.