Health professionals discuss ways to prevent Zika in Franklin County

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Zika Virus is becoming a bigger concern as more people will be traveling for Spring Break. 

"Only 20 percent of those infected actually get symptoms and they would have to be abundantly cautious," Dr. Teresa Long, Health Commissioner at Columbus Public Health, said.

Dr. Long and a group of local health professionals came together today in Columbus to discuss how they plan to collaboratively control the spread of the disease here.

"We're not in panic mode at all. It's just that idea that we need to be very forefront with mosquito control across the board," Charlie Brochart of Franklin County Public Health said.

The disease can be sexually transmitted and is mosquito-borne, but most of that control lies in our own hands. Health professionals suggest avoiding standing water, and applying a layer of insect repellent over sun block in the summer.

"We also want to focus on those complaints that come in that they're getting daytime biters in their neighborhood. It's really important that we get that information, so we can go out and investigate, maybe set some traps and see what we're getting,” Brochart said.

It is important to note, "We have no local transmission of Zika, but we also have a lot of people who are traveling," Dr. Long said.

It's best that pregnant women avoid traveling to infected places altogether.

"Yesterday for example, we tested three women who traveled to endemic areas," Dr. Phillip Shubert, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Carmel, said.

Dr. Shubert added that it's best for the women to have a blood test within 12 weeks of travel. It takes up to a month to get the results.

Men and women should expect symptoms to show up within two to twelve days of travel. There are four symptoms to look out for although they don't have to all be present: a fever, a rash, red eyes or joint pain."

To check for updates on Zika-affected countries and travel advisories go to www.cdc.gov/zika.