The Zika virus has now been confirmed in Indiana, making it the 12th state in the United States to have a confirmed case of the virus. The Indiana woman that was diagnosed with Zika was not pregnant during the infection and has made a full recovery. Health officials state that the woman did not need to be hospitalized for treatment. Jerome Adams, Indiana’s state health commissioner, commented on the risk of others in Indiana to contract the virus that is spreading around the world.
“The risk of contracting Zika virus here in Indiana remains low, but we know that many residents are concerned. We urge anyone visiting affected areas to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”
Governor Mike Pence released a statement commending the health officials in Indiana in how they have been responding to the Zika virus.
“I’m thankful for the work of the Indiana State Department of Health as they have tracked the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean in the event it would arrive here in Indiana. Hoosiers can be assured that the Department of Health is working diligently to study the latest information on the Zika virus and will be proactively keeping Hoosiers informed in the weeks and months ahead.”
In the border state of Ohio, a second person has been confirmed to be diagnosed with Zika. Officials in Ohio are beginning to create an action plan for their mosquito season which runs from May to October. Even though the type of mosquito carrying the Zika virus is not native to Ohio, officials there believe that the virus can be carried and transmitted by mosquitoes that are native to the state. Senator Sherrod Brown, along with three other senators, have introduced legislation that would help speed up the creation of a vaccine. Brown released a statement and discusses the health threat of the Zika virus.
“The Zika virus – like so many other public health threats – is never more than a plane ride away, and we must make sure the U.S. stands ready to prevent its spread and give care to those who need it.”
With new cases of the Zika virus being reported every day, people are starting to wonder when a vaccine will be created in order to combat it.
Vaccines normally take many years and cost lots of money to develop. Alan Barrett, director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development in Texas, comments about the vaccine creation process.
“It takes about 20 years and costs about $1.5 billion.”
Luckily, the Zika virus is similar to other virus spread by mosquitoes, so researchers have a bit of a head start on the process.
The CDC has issued an updated list of areas in the world where the Zika virus is spreading. They are urging that people not travel to any of these areas, especially pregnant women.
- American Samoa
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Saint Martin
If travel to any of these countries is unavoidable, there are measures that can be taken to increase protection against mosquitoes that could be carrying the virus.
- Limit the amount of exposed skin by wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants.
- Make sure you are staying in a place that utilizes screen doors or has air conditioning.
- If camping, purchase and sleep under a mosquito net.
- Purchase and use mosquito-repellant spray. Use the spray in accordance with the directions.
Are you concerned about the spread of the Zika virus?
[Image Via AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File]