Kane County Ready For This Summer's Battle Against Zika Virus

Kane County Ready For This Summer’s Battle Against Zika Virus

With the 60-degree weather we’re expected to get this weekend, it’s not too hard to start thinking about the warm-weather months.

And when summer does arrive in earnest, the Kane County Health Department will be ready to do battle against the Zika virus.

The Health Department has secured extra help this year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in gathering information necessary to make sure pregnant women and children who have been affected by the virus get the services they need.

A grant from the CDC will provide field support to collect and report accurate data on people, pregnancies and infants with laboratory evidence of possible infection.

Kane County was one of just a few health departments across the United States to be approved to receive the support.

Aedes mosquito sucking blood on skin.

Although the ranges of mosquitoes known to carry the virus, Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus, do not typically extend to northern Illinois, a major factor in deciding Kane’s eligibility was its large Hispanic population. Even though the risk of sustained local transmission of Zika in Kane County is extremely low, many of our residents could be at-risk because of frequent travel to those locations where local transmission is well documented. Additionally the spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has been reported.

Tips for everyone in preventing Zika virus:

  • Use insect repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
  • When planning to travel, check for travel notices.

The CDC field support will improve the testing and follow-up process in order to ensure that it is conducted in the proper manner and at the right time. The field support will support educational efforts to make sure people are taking the proper precautions to reduce the risk.

The Kane County Health Department’s website provides more information about Zika, including a micro-site with a direct feed from the CDC. Please visit the site by clicking here.

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