Health officials monitoring Zika outbreak


Greene County News Report

XENIA — As the Zika virus outbreak grows in size and reach, local health officials are monitoring the situation.

According to a release from Greene County Public Health, officials are working with the Ohio Department of Health to alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert notice about the outbreak, as well as interim travel guidance and information for the public. Additionally, officials are working to detect and report cases to help prevent the virus from spreading further.

“Greene County Public Health is concerned about imported cases of Zika virus infection,” the release stated. “With the recent outbreaks, the number of Zika virus disease cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States, including Greene County, will likely increase. Public health agencies are actively monitoring the current outbreak to be prepared to address cases.”

According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe forms of the disease requiring hospitalization are uncommon, according to the CDC.

The virus spreads to people most commonly through mosquito bites, but the CDC has also reported that sexual transmission is possible, and that Zika can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby.

At this time, there is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, according to the CDC.

According to a recent statement from the World Health Organization, “recent clusters of microcephaly and neurologic disorders and their possible association with Zika virus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

For more information on the virus, visit the CDC’s website or call Greene County Public Health at 937-374-5600.

The Zika virus spreads to people most commonly through mosquito bites. Zika virus spreads to people most commonly through mosquito bites. Photo courtesy CDC

Greene County News Report compiled by Nathan Pilling.

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Video Caption: A video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explaining the Zika virus

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