Local doctors talk about Zika virus

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-28 11:57:58-04

Concern about the Zika virus is pushing a growing number of people to area doctor's offices just ahead of summer.

The Zika virus has been in the news after outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some in Nebraska are paying attention to Zika as we enter mosquito season.

“I am, I am six months pregnant so I am definitely in the back of my mind. I am just being diligent and watching updates,” said Catherine Kraemer.

“When I spoke with my doctor, we are in a region far from the south, it has traveled from the south but doesn't go air born,” said Heidi McCoy.

Local doctors said right now there is no concern about mosquitoes carrying the virus here, but they urge women and couples who may travel to avoid areas where Zika is present.

“If you are going to one of those areas such as the Caribbean or South America, where there is a spread of the virus, you do have to be concerned,” said Nebraska Medicine’s infectious disease specialist, Dr. Mark Rupp.

"My first recommendation is if that travel can be postponed; postpone your travel if you're pregnant, or if you're thinking about becoming pregnant,” said Methodist infectious disease specialist, Dr. Jessica Jones.

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Cases that have been reported in the U.S. have all been people who traveled in affected areas.

“If they said don't go into the areas that would carry the Zika virus, avoid it all cost, it’s not worth stressing and putting myself at risk,” said McCoy.

Doctors said there is a chance the virus will move north and show up in the southern states first.

“Is it going to change, defiantly, as the mosquito starts to move and travel and the weather gets warmer it’s probably going to come up more in our radar and more in countries,” said Jones.

Through the summer months it's recommended to use bug spray and wear loose clothing while outside.

The State Health Department said they are surveillance mosquitoes and will start counts next week.

For more information on Zika, the Center for Disease Control has up to date numbers and tips.