Michigan health officials implement Zika prevention plans

Michigan health officials are implementing plans to help prevent the spread of the Zika virus.

- With one confirmed case in the state, Michigan health officials are working together to help prevent the Zika virus from spreading.

Oakland County Health officials are trying to stay ahead of the disease, partnering with local OBGYN offices to spread awareness

The Oakland County Health Department has been reaching out to OBGYNs to spread the word about Zika virus and its possible affects.

The most serious are miscarriages and Microcephaly, a birth defect that causes babies to be born with smaller than usual heads.

"Many times we may not find Microcephaly until the middle of the pregnancy or the later part of the pregnancy as well," said Dr. Shelley Sapick's at Oakland Macomb Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Unfortunately there is no vaccine for Zika virus at this time."

The Zika virus is being spread primarily through mosquitos from Mexico, central and South America, and can also be transmitted through sex. Health officials expect to see more cases in Michigan as the weather gets warmer, and more people travel to the affected regions for spring break, and the summer Olympics in Brazil.

So far there has been one confirmed case of Zika in Michigan, and dozens more are getting tested.

"We're seeing people who are not taking the travel precaution seriously," said George Miller, director of the Oakland County Health Department.

As Zika spreads, Miller urges those planning to travel to reconsider if they are pregnant, or could become pregnant.

"We're expecting it to probably be in Florida and Texas, the southern states where it's much warmer, but again, with all of our travel and all of our produce and our products that come in from other places, they can hitchhike a ride. We saw that with West Nile."

Miller has also sent posters to OBGYN offices with more helpful tips and information, hoping to prevent any cases of Microcephaly in the state.

"Our recommendation is that you apply the sunscreen first and then the mosquito repellant on top of that, and to please were long sleeves as much as possible," Sapick said.


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