A topic that I have been getting questions on and is a currently making headlines globally is about the Zika virus. I will attempt to provide as much information as possible as it relates to Zika virus here in Ohio.
Here is a map of the United States with laboratory-confirmed Zika virus infections. (Data as of May 4th, 2016, Source – CDC)
Ohio as of 5/4/16 has 12 confirmed cases of Zika virus, none of which was contracted locally, all of which were contracted via travel.
Currently, per the CDC, Zika virus disease and Zika virus congenital infection are nationally notifiable conditions.
The Ohio State University experts have done a great job of keeping us Educators in the loop and pertinent on the progress of this disease.
Volume 20, Issue 2 of PEP-Talk:
Zika Virus Special issue.
This issue of PEP-talk summarizes information about the potential Zika virus threat to Ohioans that was presented at an April 26, 2016 conference sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health. Credit to the authors:
Mary Ann Rose, Program Director; Chrissy Kaminski, Program Coordinator; Adam Ziadeh, Program Assistant; Chad Kramer, Program Assistant
The Disease and Current Status in Ohio
The disease is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The illness is mild in most people, lasting for several days to a week with most common symptoms including one or more of these: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. As many as 80% of those infected do not realize they have the disease. However, if infected during pregnancy, the disease may cause microcephaly, a very serious birth defect, and more rarely, severe effects may occur in adults. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine for the virus. As of April 26, 2016 there were no local mosquito-transmitted cases of Zika in the continental U.S., but there had been approximately 380 travel-related cases, with 12 of those cases in Ohio. In addition to mosquito transmission, the virus can be transmitted by men to sexual partners, and by blood transfusion.
Knowledge of the disease, mosquito types, and transmission are important. Keep up on your repellants and make smart choices. Contact me if you have any more questions about this disease.