Strategy for preventing spread of Zika virus at home

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - The threat of the Zika virus has St. Louis County health officials gearing up and getting prepared. They want citizens to do the same.

“We stand ready to identify the mosquitoes that are in the community,” said Dr. Sarah Patrick, deputy director of the St. Louis County Department of Health.

After receiving a $3,000 grant, the health department is buying new mosquito traps. They’re adding new ones to determine if the flying insects that spread Zika are in the St. Louis area.

“The trap is actually mosquito specific,” Patrick said.

Officials expect to see more Zika victims locally this summer, mainly people who travel to infested areas, are bitten there, and then return home infected. However, Dr. Patrick said she won’t be surprised if some folks are infected with Zika from a mosquito living here in the St. Louis area.

In countries where pregnant women became infected with Zika, some gave birth to babies with small heads, although the virus has not yet officially been named as the cause. Health officials said now is the time to get your property prepared. One suggestion that can go a long way: empty objects that have collected water where mosquitoes breed.

Mosquitoes are hatching earlier this year. The mild winter people enjoyed was also good for mosquitoes.

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