SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Concerns about the Zika virus are rising in the Southland.
According to the LA County Health Department, several women have contracted the virus while traveling.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim looks at the numbers.
The number of pregnant women with Zika in America now stands at more than 150.
In Los Angeles, our numbers are growing too. The LA County Health Department says we now have 13 Zika cases in the county and four of those are pregnant women.
“Zika virus has some potential to cause scary outcomes — very small brains with developmental delay in infants,” says Dr. Sirisat Khalsa of the Mend Urgent Care Clinic.
Dr. Khalsa says the people who should pay attention to the growing numbers are women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Even though there hasn’t been any local transmission of the virus, the officials say the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika have been found in the San Gabriel Valley and in the Eastern part of the county.
“Precautions are very straightforward. Avoid mosquitoes, if you have standing water anywhere get rid of that. And you can use bug repellent, long sleeves,” says Khalsa.
She says there’s another group of people that should avoid traveling to countries where Zika is spreading.
“Any men whose wives or partners are going to be pregnant or are pregnant because it can be sexually transmitted,” Khalsa says.
“I do travel a lot for work and everything so if I do head down to South America, or Central America, a little worried but not too much,” said Reed Ameel.
“There is a concern, I just hope that there’s something that we can do to alleviate it,” says Jax Wright.
“Mosquitoes, we all habitate together, it’s just the way of life, so no, I’m not going to take extra precautions,” said Christine Freese.