Louisiana has received $400,000 from the Centers for Disease Control to fight the Zika virus. Dr. Frank Welch with the Department of Health says this money is targeted specifically for pregnant women, who are most at risk. He says the money will be used to educate both OBGYNs and women about the virus, as well as for medical care if a woman gets Zika.
“If a pregnant woman is exposed to the Zika virus, it assists in monitoring that pregnancy with the woman to see if Zika had any impact on it,” Welch said.
Welch urges pregnant women to take extra precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites. He says that includes removing any standing water from their yards and watching out for mosquitos when they are outside.
“You can get pregnancy approved insect repellant. Also when you’re outside, make sure a pregnant woman is wearing sleeves and long pants,” Welch said.
Welch says there have been 17 Zika cases in Louisiana, and all of them are travel related. He says we have not seen local transmission yet in Louisiana, but it’s still a possibility because the mosquito that carries the virus is active here.
“Although we hope local transmission doesn’t occur, all of the ingredients for local transmission are in Louisiana, especially in the southern part of the state,” Welch said.