Local health official talks Zika virus, protecting yourself

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Local health officials emphasize the importance of eliminating standing water amid concerns over the Zika virus.

According to report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently four cases of the Zika virus in Michigan. All of the reported cases are travel-related and were not contracted locally.

Steve Kelso, the marketing and communications manager for the Kent County Health Department, said although they don’t anticipate that people are going to contract the Zika virus in Michigan, they are concerned about people traveling into the areas that are affected.

Kelso says they are also keeping a close eye on the Aedes aegypti mosquito to see if it will be able to carry the Zika virus all the way north to Michigan.

One of the ways that the Zika virus has been spreading in the U.S. is through sexual transmission.

Health officials say men who are infected with the Zika virus need to wear a condom or abstain from sex.

“I think the problem with the Zika virus right now is we’re learning more and more about it as we go on, so we don’t really know everything at this point. There is so much about this disease that we’re not aware of at this point so the studies continue on it,” said Kelso. “We’re really going to have to be careful.”

Kelso stressed the importance of getting rid of standing water around your home to help reduce mosquitoes.

“If you have a bottle cap, you can be looking at breeding a thousand mosquitoes,” said Kelso.

Comments are closed.