Officials: Kentucky is prepared to respond to Zika issues

Published: May. 9, 2016 at 5:03 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2016 at 5:51 PM EDT
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ecretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
ecretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Ardis Hoven (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Ardis Hoven (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - With the 2016 Olympics approaching closer on our calendars, many people are wondering about the Zika virus outbreak. For the first time Kentucky officials held a news conference regarding the Zika virus and how it could potentially affect the state. Their main message: preventing mosquitos is the safest way to prevent Zika.

"We're calling the campaign, 'Fight the Bite Day and Night'," said Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Like many mosquito-transmitted illnesses, the best way to prevent the Zika virus is getting to the pests that deliver it. Officials say this includes making sure mosquitos don't have a place to go by getting rid of containers with water just sitting around. Bird baths, tires, buckets and even children's toys after the rain in the yard can be a potential home to mosquitos.

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They also suggest protecting yourself with mosquito repellents and screens during this coming summer. As for symptoms, the virus doesn't show many.
"A rash, joint point, red eyes - conjunctivitis - those are the four primary symptoms of Zika, it is really not terribly sickening if you will," said Dr. Ardis Hoven, an infectious disease specialist for the Kentucky Department of Public Health regarding the virus within the state.

So far the state has six confirmed cases. Because it is hard to detect, they are asking the public to make it easier for everyone.
"As with all public health issues, the best form of protection is prevention, not clean up," Dr. Hoven added.

Dr. Hoven also confirmed that Zika can be transmitted sexually, and warned those who have traveled to Zika-affected areas to have protected sex with their partners or to practice abstinence for at least two months.

Work is underway to find out what exactly the gestation period for the virus is.

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