Meetings to answer Zika Virus Concerns scheduled in Albany and Atlanta

Meetings to answer Zika Virus Concerns scheduled in Albany and Atlanta

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard said "Usually each year usually we talk about the West Nile virus, but unfortunately this year this Zika Virus has came on the rise."

State and city officials in Albany want you to know about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases.
The Georgia Department of Public Health today confirmed a dozen Zika cases in the state, though all those people contracted the virus while traveling outside the country.
Officials across Georgia want to give reliable information about Zika virus and west nile disease, so you can be prepared.

Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry are a part of life in South Georgia. That will be the topic at a Town Hall Meeting hosted by Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard Saturday.
Howard said "The purpose of this meeting is that citizens in Daugherty County and Southwest Georgia.  We need to be informed that these diseases that are here, and transmitted through the mosquitoes can in the end be fatal."

The Georgia Department of Public Health will hold a statewide meeting about Zika Virus in the state Tuesday.  They say all the cases of ZIka virus in Georgia have come from other nations....and the greatest danger is to unborn children, because the virus is associated with severe birth defects.
 Center For Women's Health Certified Nurse Midwife Ginger Bennett said "We advise pregnant ladies do not travel to effected areas.  Affected areas include Mexico, South America, Latin America, and some Eastern Caribbean countries such as Cuba."

With Summer coming, state and local officials want people to know the issue before they travel.
 Howard said "We want to make sure the community to be  abreast and to be , not to scare the community, but to just be aware of the surroundings."
Bennett said "It can transmitted sexually, so if you have a partner that has traveled to those areas, then you need to take precautions."

West nile disease is in South Georgia mosquitoes, and has been deadly.  So state and Albany officials are holding meetings over the next week to give good advice about mosquito-borne diseases from experts.

Commissioner Jon Howard's Town Hall Meeting will be at 10 Saturday morning at the Police Station in the 17 hundred block of East Oglethorpe Boulevard, with the county Director of Environmental health and and the district epidemiology and surveillance office director. The State advisory will be Tuesday at noon in Atlanta.

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