Heartland health officials closely monitoring Zika spread

Heartland health officials closely monitoring Zika spread

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Heartland health officials are keeping a close eye on the spread of the Zika virus in the U.S.

Of the Heartland states, Kentucky and Missouri are the only ones with no confirmed cases so far.

Judy Laurentius, administrator for the Perry County Public Health Department, said they receive weekly updates from the Centers for Disease Control on the virus.

Those updates include new found cases and the practices best used to monitor the virus.

"It's a matter of education right now," Laurentius said.

She said by spring we can expect to see increased mosquito control measures.

The Zika virus is largely spread through a certain species of mosquito that is prevalent in parts of Central and South America and the U.S.

Of the more than 100 cases found in the U.S. so far, all been have travel related, meaning they were not contracted in the U.S, according to the CDC.

Long-term health effects have been discovered in the discovery of newborn children being able to contract the virus; in at least one case, a mother infected with the virus gave birth to a child who was also infected.

Health officials are encouraging people to follow CDC travel warnings if they are planning a trip to areas prone to infection.

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