ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The Zika Virus has found its way to Ohio. Monday, two cases were confirmed in the Buckeye State with one in a Findlay man, and another in a Columbus woman.
The Zika Virus is contracted from contact with mosquitos found primarily in tropical regions. The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department said that those with weak immune systems, such as the young, the elderly, and pregnant woman, are the most vulnerable. Matt Hemmer who works for the health department said it’s hard to know if the Zika Virus could make its way to Southeastern Ohio.
“It’s hard to predict if Zika will make it to Muskingum County,” said Hemmer. “With the ease of travel these days it could be likely. We are just hoping to educate the public and give them the best knowledge that we can in order to protect them”
Hemmer said in order to try to protect yourself from mosquito attacks you should remove standing water as soon as possible, always wear long clothes when outdoors, and apply bug spray regularly. Hemmer said the county is also doing its part to help get rid of mosquitos.
“We do try to spray area of the county that are known for mosquito problems. However, if an outbreak was to occur or if a case were to show its self we would increase spraying in that area,” said Hemmer. “The Muskingum County Health Department posts on Facebook and Twitter the areas we expect to spray and also the areas where treatments have occurred.”
To report a mosquito complaint to the county you can call (740) 454-9741.