CDC says virus-carrying mosquitoes increasing, concern for travel of pregnant women

CDC says virus-carrying mosquitoes increasing, concern for travel of pregnant women

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is seeing a substantial increase in the number of U.S. counties with virus-carrying mosquitoes. The agency said the uptick is mostly in the southern part of the United States.

The mosquitoes can spread Chikungunya, Dengue  and Zika viruses.

WTOL 11 wanted to check in with the local health department to see what the risk is for some of these diseases in the area.

"She actually canceled her trip,"  said Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner, Eric Zgodzinski.

He was referring to one of the pregnant clients at the health department who planned a trip to a Zika-infected area.

Zgodzinski said there are no mosquitoes in the area carrying the virus, however he did warn women planning on being pregnant to be cautious.

"If you're thinking about conceiving, you're going to really want to take some precautions if you're going to be traveling. Probably the best bet is not to travel. That's your personal decision," he said.

Zika Virus can cause birth defects, if passed to a baby during pregnancy.

Recently, the CDC said Texas and Florida have reported Zika cases. Many other popular vacation spots like Mexico and the Caribbean are risky spots that women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant may want to steer clear from.

There are ways to stay protected.

"Wear your deet. Wear long clothing. Make sure around your yard, you take care of any water sources. Make sure your screens are intact," said Zgodzinski.

He advises anyone who does decide to travel to infected areas, to wait six to eight weeks before trying to conceive.

The Lucas County Sanitary District has been spraying and doing mosquito surveillance. There are no Zika carriers in the area, but the district is waiting to get results back on West Nile Virus and said there are a lot more of the species this year than by this time last year.

The CDC has a list of all the areas with mosquitoes infected with Zika which can be found here.

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