Could Zika Hit the Midwest This Summer?

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Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

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         Even though the Zika virus hasn’t been in the news much lately, scientists wonder if this year, one of the most common mosquitoes in the Midwest, the Aedes vexans, might bring the virus to middle America. Zika, which can cause birth defects if contracted by pregnant women, is primarily transmitted by a mosquito more commonly found in southern areas of the country such as the Gulf Coast.       

            Dr. Lee Norman is chief medical officer at The University of Kansas Health System. In the video, Dr. Norman explains why this particular mosquito bears close watching because it’s aggressive and has adapted to an urban environment. Though no locally acquired cases of the virus have been reported in the United States this year, he says the disease can be transmitted between mosquitoes…and those in the South could easily spread it to their Midwestern cousins. Dr. Norman also describes the potential effects on developing babies and the best ways to prevent the disease.