Zika virus in Nebraska: what you need to Know

Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 13:37:16-05
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced it has received reports of two cases of the zika virus. They are the first cases in the state. One is in Douglas County. One is in Sarpy County. 
Both of the people involved are women in their 20s who recently traveled to countries affected by the zika virus. Neither was hospitalized. 
Beth Conover, MS,APRN, LCGC consults for the CDC. She says she's had a lot of expecting mothers ask her about travel and is discouraging it.
"The real problem is even if you got bitten by a mosquito which was infected, and you got the disease in pregnancy and your baby got it, microcephaly is not something that we can cure," she said.
Here's what we know about the virus:
-The virus is typically spread to people through a mosquito bite. 
-Zika virus is carried by the same type of mosquitos that carry West Nile virus. 
-The cases that are popping up are linked to mosquitoes rapidly spreading zika in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
-The virus is linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly. Microcephaly has caused at least 4,000 babies to be born with underdeveloped brains and skulls. 
-The WHO estimates up to four million cases of zika virus by the end of the year.
Action 3 News is following what local hospitals are doing to test and monitor any zika cases. Tune into KMTV at Upfront at 4 and 4:30, plus Action 3 News at 5 and 6 for more.