Zika virus spreading quickly

Posted at 12:38 AM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 03:40:43-05

The Zika virus is exploding in the Americas, but is it a threat to Kern County?

Recently, it's made its way into the U.S. with confirmed cases in L.A. County and another in Massachusetts over the last two days.

Dr. Claudia Jonah, a health officer at Kern County Public Health Services, knows exactly what needs to be done to keep the virus out of Kern County: mosquito control.

"If we keep that mosquito out, we're so far ahead," Jonah said.

The mosquito in question is the Aedes Aegypti, a species that feeds during the day (unlike most species, which feed during dusk or dawn). It's this type of mosquito that's been linked to the virus that can have heartbreaking effects.

"There seems to be extra risk if a pregnant woman is bitten and gets infected with this Zika, that there could be damage to her child."

Dr. Jonah said that the best way to keep the virus out of Kern County is pay attention to your property, making sure that there's nowhere for mosquitoes to hatch. Jonah stressed that this should be a daily priority.

"It takes some extra effort," Jonah said. "This is one that every single household will need to take care of anything in their property that can hold water to keep them scrubbed out, like a daily thing.

'We have to roll up our sleeves to keep this from getting a foothold in Kern County."