New Task Force Formed to Deal with Zika Virus in Virginia – NBC 29 News


Mosquito, a carrier of the Zika virusMosquito, a carrier of the Zika virus
Dr. Laurie Forlano, a state epidemiologistDr. Laurie Forlano, a state epidemiologist


Governor Terry McAuliffe has formed a new task force to deal with the Zika virus.

With confirmed cases of Zika already in Virginia, state leaders are concerned more Virginians could contract it.

On Thursday State Epidemiologist Doctor Laurie Forlano, told NBC29 there are now nine confirmed cases of Zika in Virginia. Forlano says a person with the virus can exhibit no symptoms, or mild symptoms like fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis.

Up to this point patients have been getting infected through a mosquito bite abroad. That’s why anyone travelling to central or South America where the virus is prevalent is urged to first take a look at the latest guidelines from the Center for Disease Control.

A big cause for concern has been the strong association between Zika in pregnant women, and birth defects to their babies. 

Researchers are just now discovering it may be possible to transmit through sexual contact.

“The possibility of Zika virus being locally transmitted here in Virginia exists theoretically, although I would say that it’s on the lower end. We do have the mosquito species that transmit Zika virus in Virginia,” said Forlano.

Forlano added that people can lower the chance of contracting the virus by getting rid of standing water in your yards, which could be breeding grounds for mosquitos.

Mosquito season officially starts May 1 in Virginia.

For more information on the virus please click here. To see the travel information from the CDC, please click here


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