What Does The Zika Virus Outbreak Mean For Oklahoma?

Wednesday, February 3rd 2016, 8:02 am
By: News 9

The Zika virus has been detected in Dallas County in Texas. Dallas County Health and Human Services said it received confirmation from the CDC.

It reports the victim was infected after having sexual contact with someone who's sick and just got back from a country impacted by the Zika outbreak.

Now that the Zika virus has been transmitted in the U.S. for the first time, local officials are making sure Oklahomans are informed.

The World Health Organization declared a global emergency this week, but health officials are unclear how significant the threat is to Oklahoma.

However, researchers predict that southern states along the Gulf Coast could be most affected because of a specific mosquito that has spread most cases of Zika.

But here in Oklahoma, the Asian tiger mosquito lives through our winter may also carry the virus.

Overall, U.S. health officials say the risk of a U.S. outbreak is low, largely because of our more effective mosquito control.

Now the CDC reports the most common symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes, and last for several days to a week.

The main risk is for pregnant women. Disease specialists in Brazil said that the virus may be causing a surge in a birth defect.

There is no vaccine or medications to prevent the virus. But you are advised to avoid travel to south and central America, avoid standing water, use insecticide and apply repellant.