Ohio officials to discuss Zika virus preparedness, scenarios

Representatives from several state agencies, local health departments and health care provider associations are meeting for a preparedness exercise Tuesday in Columbus.

The Zika virus is continuing to spread across the Americas, but instead of going after the disease itself, the World Health Organization is considering a new solution: genetic modification. The World Health Organization said the controversial method could successfully kill the mosquitoes that carry it.
WWLP photo

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio officials are gathering to discuss the state’s readiness for handling Zika virus scenarios ahead of the mosquito season that begins in May.

Representatives from several state agencies, local health departments and health care provider associations are meeting for a preparedness exercise Tuesday in Columbus.

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. There’s no vaccine for the virus, which primarily spreads through bites from a mosquito not typically found in Ohio. But state health officials say a “cousin” of the mosquito is found in parts of Ohio and could potentially transmit the virus.

The state’s health department has reported five cases of the Zika virus.

Many people infected don’t get sick. Some experience mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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