Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is stepping into the fight against the Zika virus.

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is stepping into the fight against the Zika virus.

The Seattle billionaire announced two grants Friday totaling more than $2 million.

The bulk of the money — $1.5 million — will go to the American Red Cross, to support efforts to control the mosquitoes that transmit the virus and educate the public in Brazil and other Latin American countries where Zika has been spreading rapidly.

Another $550,000 will help Chembio Diagnostics Systems, Inc. develop a suite of rapid tests to quickly diagnose Zika and differentiate it from diseases with similar symptoms.

Allen first entered the global health arena in a big way during the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The $100 million he contributed to bring that deadly disease under control was the largest donation by any individual — outstripping even the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“In an increasingly connected and changing world, the threat of dangerous infectious diseases will never disappear,” a statement from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation said. “However, with vigilance, innovation and proactive collaboration, we can avoid their worst impacts — and prevent them from becoming global health crises.”