The State Department of Health and Hospitals is investigating two possible Zika cases in Louisiana. Dr. Frank Welch, with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, says officials learned of these two cases after the patients complained to their doctors about feeling ill after visiting the Caribbean.
“Fortunately, in adults who are not pregnant, it’s a very mild illness. They have completely recovered,” Welch said.
Neither of the patients required hospitalization and they were counseled to avoid mosquito bites, so the disease doesn’t spread in Louisiana. Welch says at this point, Louisiana residents shouldn’t be concerned about getting the Zika Virus, because local transmission is very unlikely at this time….
“This disease is mostly spread through a particular type of mosquito, which is not active in Louisiana right now,” Welch said.
Most people who get the Zika virus are unaware they have it. Welch says it’s a mild illness, but it can cause birth defects if pregnant women are infected. He says Zika could become a problem in Louisiana when the weather gets warmer.
“The bad news is this type of mosquito is active in Louisiana in the summer. So we really want to pay attention. We want to be prepared,” Welch said.
Welch encourages people to do what they can to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing long sleeves and bug repellent, avoiding standing water, and watching for possible Zika symptoms.