DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Tuesday, health officials in Ohio announced the first two reported cases of the Zika virus in the state. Both people had recently returned from Haiti.
Doctor Ginger Cameron, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University, said the risk of Zika virus infection in the state of Ohio is very small right now. “We don’t have the right type of mosquito and we’re a little bit too cool for those kinds of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Cameron.
“There is a cousin to that mosquito… we don’t really know whether it’s going to carry it (Zika).”
She said the risk is with people traveling to areas with Zika transmission, then returning to the United States.
“Right now, we don’t know how long Zika will remain in sperm,” said Dr. Cameron. Last week, the CDC confirmed a sexually transmitted case of Zika in Texas. Health officials said the patient had sex with their partner who had recently returned from Venezuela.
The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is active, because of the potential link between the virus and certain birth defects.
“Typically, if you are pregnant, at any time in your pregnancy and you get exposed to Zika, you are at risk of developing problems,” said Cameron. “So, you want to report that to your physician right away. They’re doing testing around two weeks and then around 12 weeks again, and simple ultrasounds just to see how the baby is progressing.”
For women who may soon become pregnant, Dr. Cameron said it doesn’t live long in your body. “They’re saying typically after two months it’s out of your system and you don’t have to worry about it after that,” she said.
She said she doesn’t expect a vaccine in time for the spring and summer, typically when mosquito activity is at its highest.
She also anticipates a possible spike in Zika virus infections after the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, as people return home from Brazil.