Zika virus danger

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jan 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-30 20:19:47-05
Health leaders from around the globe are focused on tracking the dangerous Zika virus.
The mosquito-spread illness has prompted the CDC to issue a travel alert for pregnant woman visiting certain regions.
So far, officials have confirmed 31 cases of the Zika virus in 11 separate states. 
Experts say these cases were all contacted outside the US with no locally transmitted cases yet reported. 
This virus has existed for a long time, but the outbreaks haven't really started happening until fairly recently," said Niki Forbing-Orr of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. 
A high number of reported Zika virus cases around the world has health officials in the treasure valley stepping up surveillance. 
Brian Wilbur, director at the Ada County Weed, Pest and Mosquito Abatement District, says they're being proactive, using new traps to monitor species of mosquito throughout the country.
Throughout the summer, they put those specialty traps at 15 different locations throughout Ada County. So far they haven't seen any of this specific species of disease carrying mosquito.
Most people who come in contact with a mosquito carrying the Zika virus in areas like Central and South America will show little to no symptoms.
The main concern is a possible link to a serious and often fatal birth defect known as microsepholy, causing babies to be born with extremely small heads.
Because the specific species of mosquito aren't naturally found in the northwest, experts in the gem state don't want people without plans to travel to panic.
Most people in Idaho, this is not a risk. It's a very low low risk. For pregnant women who might be traveling out of the country or out of the state; there are some small pockets of the United States where the mosquito that carries this virus could be," said Forbing-Orr.
If you are pregnant the CDC is recommending you postpone your travel.
If you have to go to any of those areas, make sure you take extra precautions to defend yourself against mosquito bites.