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Community Health News

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Zika Virus

Zika virus is spread through bites from infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Zika virus has not been found in any United States mosquitoes. All cases in the United States have been in travelers returning from countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

Currently, over 30 countries and territories in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico are experiencing ongoing Zika virus transmission. The CDC has issued a Level 2 Travel Alert for these areas, indicating that travelers should practice enhanced precautions while traveling to these regions. The primary recommended precaution is to prevent mosquito bites through wearing long sleeves and long pants; using DEET containing insect repellant; wearing permethrin-treated clothing; and staying or sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

Zika virus infection typically causes a mild illness, and hospitalizations are rare. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes, and usually occur within two weeks of travel to a country with ongoing Zika virus transmission. There is a link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in infants (smaller than normal head size). Due to this, the CDC is recommending that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant postpone trips to areas with Zika virus transmission.

Providers who suspect Zika virus in a patient should contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317 to coordinate testing.

For more information on the Zika Virus, please click on this link.

For statewide information and guidance on Zika virus, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

For national information and guidance on Zika virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County

With recent heavy rains and as we move into warmer months, mosquito totals are high, as expected. Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita track mosquito numbers and implement control measures in the area in order to protect the public from diseases such as West Nile virus, which are spread by bite of an infected mosquito. Residents are encouraged to eliminate or treat mosquito breeding areas of standing water in their neighborhood.

Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County

The graph shows the number of mosquitoes identified in traps set in Sedgwick County (in and around the Wichita metropolitan area). Mosquito trapping is performed by the Kansas Biological Survey and coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Culex species of mosquitoes are the primary vector for West Nile virus in the United States and Kansas. An increase in mosquitoes, especially Culex species, may indicate an increased risk of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans. WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

To learn more about mosquito surveillance in Sedgwick County, please click on this link

Fight the Bite! Avoid mosquito bites by following the three Ds:

  • DRAIN: Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes live and breed.
  • DRESS: Cover your skin with clothing when outdoors.
  • DEET: Use insect repellents that contain DEET.

Notifiable Disease Investigations

notifiable diseases graph

Read about the epidemiology (disease investigation) program at the Sedgwick County Health Department

Sedgwick County...working for you

Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.