Zika Virus Update - 46 cases in Illinois

Public health trackers have now counted 46 cases of Zika infection in Illinois. The report from the Illinois Department of Public Health states that Illinois pregnant women are now counted on the list of people exposed to the mosquito-borne illness. The names of the Illinois patients have not been disclosed, as is standard in new disease outbreaks.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a series of warnings and travel advisories in response to the widespread appearance of Zika in a range of tropical and subtropical ecosystems throughout the Western Hemisphere. In addition to outbreaks in Greater Miami and in Puerto Rico, the virus has been reported in all but twocountries south of the U.S. border. Affected countries include Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and all of South America except Chile and Uruguay.

Potential Zika patients are strongly urged to take standard precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Not all mosquitoes are genetically adapted to serve as vectors of the Zika virus. The mosquitoes that carry Zika live in tropical and subtropical environments and mostly bite during the daytime. As the Zika virus has now been proven to have the capability of spreading bysexual intercourse, standard precautions are also strongly urged in this area.