Zika case reported in Clark County from returning traveler

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Clark County health officials confirmed Thursday a returning traveler contracted Zika while visiting the Caribbean. The infected person lives in the Willow Chase neighborhood in Springfield.

“I think as long as we know we have it around,” Willow Chase resident Bonnie Oliver said. “Then we know what we need to do to keep ourselves safe.”

Clark County Health Official Commissioner Charles Patterson says when the infected person came back, they visited their doctor who later alerted him. It’s the first case of Zika reported in Clark County.

“For us to see a traveler, we are not amazed that, that happened,” Patterson said. “Something was eventually going to happen. What it did was allowed us to engage with our Zika plan.”

The purpose of the plan is make sure the virus isn’t transmitted locally. That can happen if a mosquito bites the infected person and then bites another person. That person could then be infected. The virus can also spread human to human through birth or sexual contact.

The health department has about a dozen mosquito traps. They help trap local mosquitoes so they can test them for the Zika.

“We’ll set the trap out,” Clark County Sanitarian James Lynch said. “Fill it with water and what we’ll do is turn on this fan. What the fan does is suck air through the trap and mosquitoes will be sucked with the air up and through this hole.”

Currently, there’s no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to do it, is to wear long sleeves and long pants, stay in places with air conditioning and with window and door screens and treat your clothing and gear with insect repellent.

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