82 Zika Cases Confirmed in Pennsylvania

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SCRANTON -- As the number of confirmed cases of Zika continues to grow, health experts in our area are weighing in on the virus.

As of Monday, there were 82 cases of the Zika virus confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There are also 120 tests still pending which could mean more cases of Zika in Pennsylvania.

"One of the things to be concerned with this type of virus is that you can be infected with it and not even know it," Deborah Clark of Geisinger said.

Clark is a trauma coordinator at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. Doctors in Scranton are prepared should the virus spread.

So far, Florida is the only state where the disease has been transmitted from one person to another.

"The cases that have been confirmed here in Pennsylvania have been caused mostly by people that have been traveling. There's no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania yet where people got the virus from being bit by a mosquito while in Pennsylvania," Clark said.

Right now there's no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika.

At the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department, there are prevention kits available for free to women that are pregnant. The kits include different types of mosquito repellent.

Patrick McDonnell, the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, says his agency is also monitoring the growing number of Zika cases in Pennsylvania.

"If we have an area where there's a cluster of people coming in from out of the country with Zika, we'll elevate the activity and start spraying," McDonnell said.

In response to the Zika virus being transmitted in Florida, health officials recommend pregnant women to not travel in the area of Miami-Dade County.


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