3 pregnant women in Illinois confirmed to have Zika virus

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Dept of Public health has amended the total number of pregnant women who have contracted the Zika virus to three confirmed cases, with another five possible cases not yet confirmed.

The state health department now says there are 46 confirmed Zika cases in Illinois.

All of the cases are people who contracted the virus after traveling to Zika-affected areas, which include the Caribbean, South America and a neighborhood in Miami, Florida.

Pregnant women have been advised not to travel to those areas because of the risk of microcephaly in infants.

The recommendation from health officials for everyone is to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and use insect repellant.

The director of the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District says local crews are regularly spraying for mosquitos and trapping mosquitos for testing.

It’s also important to note, West Nile virus remains a concern but the two types of mosquitos that carry Zika virus have not been found in our area.

The Illinois Department of Health says it is analyzing data to track any trends.

The department released a statement saying:

There are now a total of 46 cases of Zika virus in Illinois.  All of these cases are among individuals who acquired Zika virus in their travels to Zika virus-affected areas.  IDPH is analyzing the data, to determine what trends, if any, are apparent. At the time of testing, three pregnant women were confirmed to have Zika Virus.   We encourage all travelers to Zika-affected areas to take precautions against mosquito bites and pregnant women or women who may become pregnant to avoid such travel.