Press "Enter" to skip to content

Local officials prepare to meet threat of Zika virus

The Zika virus is a looming threat, and while it hasn’t yet been contracted by anyone while they were physically in the continental United States, Dr. W. Ted Tweel, acting district director of the Three Rivers Health District, said the potential is there “and we need to prepare ourselves for that possibility.”

Tweel said that, thus far, 700 cases of the illness, which can cause abnormalities in the developing fetus, have been diagnosed in U.S. residents who have traveled abroad. And of those cases, 11 have been Virginians who have returned from overseas, according to the Virginia Department of Health website.

The Zika virus is a viral disease that is spread mainly through mosquito bites, but sexual transmission has also been documented, said Tweel. While people who contract the disease usually experience fairly mild symptoms—fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis that can last from several days to a week—the illness can be devastating to the unborn f...

To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.