Zika virus in California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the most populous U.S. state, with 39 million people, and the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). California is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada to the east, Arizona to the southeast, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south.
California has ten confirmed cases of Zika virus since 2013, and three in 2016.
Mosquito species that carry Zika have colonized in Southern California and have been discovered in Madera, Fresno and San Mateo counties. The West Nile virus that is spread by mosquitoes is the most common mosquito illness in California. In 2014, 737 cases of West Nile were reported, out of which 45 died.
On 10 February 2016, a case of Zika virus was confirmed in Yolo County. The person contracted the virus overseas. The person is not pregnant and the Zika virus in the person is in a mild state. No travel restrictions were put on that person.
The UC Davis Health System hosted a community forum on 20 February, where experts spoke about Zika virus - prevention, care and transmission. They answered the public's questions and concerns about the virus.
In 2014, 7 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Frensno County. In February 2016, it was reported that the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District is obtaining warrants to enter the properties where abandoned or dirty pools have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and deal with the mosquito problem.
Salinas is the county seat and largest municipality of Monterey County. Salinas has a large Latino population who would travel outside U.S. frequently.
The possibility of a Zika outbreak in Salinas is slim. Although there are few cases of Zika virus in California, the local transmission of the virus is very unlikely.
Even as there is international distress on the Zika virus, travelers from Salinas to Latin America remained steady in February 2016. Travel agents in Salinas said that there is almost no change in plans of their customers and no questions about the virus were being asked.
The first case of Zika virus in a Napa County resident was announced on 2 March 2016. A pregnant woman who traveled to South America showed symptoms of the Zika virus about four weeks ago. She tested positive for Zika virus, but is not showing symptoms of the virus now. The Napa County Public Health Division announced that the woman is between 30 and 45 years of age and both her and her baby are being monitored by her health care provider.
Santa Barbara County
Even though there are no reported cases of Zika virus in the Santa Barbara County, the Mosquito and Vector Management District are taking preventive measures to combat spread of Zika virus. Health officials say that they have noticed the rise in mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus. Mosquitoes typically breed in the spring but the recent warm weather has provided these insects with a good breeding environment during the winter. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department tested five patients for Zika virus and two of them have been cleared.
- Dr. Charity Dean - Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
In February 2016, a person in Yolo County contracted the virus while traveling outside the United States. The person made full recovery.
Noteworthy People in California
- Olivia Kasirye - Sacramento County health officer
- Gary Goodman - General manager of Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control
- Chris Barker - Epidemiologist
- Véronique Taché - Maternal-fetal medicine physician, UC Davis Medical Center
- David Schrimmer - Chief of obstetrics, UC Davis Medical Center
- Dean Blumberg - Chief of pediatric infectious diseases, UC Davis Children’s Hospital