Three more Zika cases in Louisiana

Three more Zika cases in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - State health officials say three new cases of travel-related Zika virus have been confirmed in Louisiana.
That brings the total to 26 cases in the state.

The Zika virus puts pregnant women at most risk. Health officials say a pregnant woman's unborn child could be at risk of developing severe birth defects as a result of the infection.

Besides being spread via mosquito, Zika can be spread through sexual activity. Health officials say for that reason, pregnant women should have their partners use a condom correctly every time or abstain from sex.

"The mosquitoes that can carry Zika virus are located in the region in and around New Orleans which were not impacted by the floods. However, there has been a lot of rain in the New Orleans area, which does foster the environment where the Zika virus mosquito thrives," said Dr. Frank Welch, medical director of community preparedness at the Louisiana Department of Health.

State health officials also confirmed 14 cases of the West Nile Virus in Louisiana. State epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said none of the cases is related to the recent flooding.

"These West Nile infections all occurred before the recent flooding. I do not expect that we will see as many cases as we've seen in past as we are having a late start to the time of the year when we normally begin to see people getting West Nile virus infections," Ratard said.

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