Orange County plans ahead to prevent Zika

- Orange County commissioners were told Tuesday that there have not been any cases of the Zika virus yet in the county, but Health Services Director Dr. Christopher Hudson says there is some reason for worry. “I think we are very concerned, and that’s why we have such efforts to try and control this mosquito population.”

Orange County has a pregnant mother in their Communications Department, so we asked mom-to-be Carrie Proudfit if she was worried about Zika. “I think it is part of your prenatal care. There are a lot of things that are worrisome about being pregnant. It starts at the very beginning.”

The Zika virus is transmitted to humans from mosquitos carrying the disease. So far that has only happened in affected areas in different parts of the world. Still, those mosquitos that can carry the disease are found here in Central Florida, and Dr. Hudson says we won't be able to get rid of them all.  “You are never going to be able to spray your way out of mosquitos in a sub-tropical climate.”

For now, Dr. Hudson says Orange County residents should not be overly concerned.  "This is still a minimal risk to most people, right?  I mean the reality of it is we don’t have a local spread. Most of our pregnant women are not traveling to afflicted areas. So I think the most important thing is to understand the risk.”

One major concern is that someone carrying the Zika virus will arrive at the airport, be bitten by a mosquito, then once the mosquito bites someone else there would be local transmission of the disease. Officials at the Orlando International Airport say they are taking aggressive steps to control the mosquito population there.

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