The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to dozens of infants in Brazil born with a birth defect known as microcephaly. Doctor Andrea Greiner is a high-risk pregnancy physician U-I Hospitals and Clinics. She says the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have both weighed in with recommendations.
“The CDC recommendations are little bit more conservative — and say no travel at all,” Greiner says. “Where the WHO is saying if a woman has to travel, she should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.” Greiner has this advice: “Be cautious and think about, is it more important to take your tropical vacation — which always sounds good in Iowa in February — but think about the potential long-term consequences.”
An Iowa State University entomologist says he and other experts are keeping an eye on the Zika virus, but he is not too worried that it will be spread in Iowa. Ryan Smith says Iowa’s cold winters will likely keep the mosquitoes that spread the disease away from this part of the country.
“I don’t think it’s really a place that naturally harbors these mosquitoes that have been implicated in disease transmission, and I think that the chances of mosquito transmission here in Iowa itself is probably pretty rare,”Smith says. The virus has been confirmed in a number of Americans who have recently traveled to the region, including two cases in Nebraska.
The two made their comments on the Iowa Public Radio program, River to River.