According to Newton Medical Center Director of Marketing Leslie Helmer, NMC already follows the CDC guidelines and screens for travel if patients have travelled to a country where Zika is present.
"Prevention is the most important part of [dealing with] the Zika virus," Helmer said, "and with all of the heavy rainfall and flooding it's critical to prevent mosquito bites by avoiding mosquito prevalent areas or by wearing mosquito repellent."
Helmer said, during the registration process, all patients are asked whether or not they have traveled internationally.
"... If they present with symptoms of the Zika virus, which kind of mimic symptoms of the flu, [especially] when it's not flu season," Helmer said, "that's when they ask more questions during the screen."
While the final diagnosis of the patient is protected/private health information, Helmer said the screening process has already discovered one person who displayed Zika-like symptoms.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) spokesman Benjamin Haynes said a total of $25 million in FY 2016 preparedness and response funding has been awarded to 53 state, city, and territorial health departments (throughout the U.S.) in areas at risk for potential outbreaks of Zika. That money has been awarded by the CDC.
That funding is effective July 1 and can be used through June 2017. Haynes said, all jurisdictions will have those funds by next week. Kansas will receive $306,771.
Haynes said selection of the funding recipients was based on the risk of local transmission as determined by the estimated range of the two Aedesmosquito species known to transmit Zika virus in the U.S., history of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks and population sizes.
Jurisdictions can use the funds to rapidly identify and investigate a possible outbreak of Zika virus in their communities, to coordinate a comprehensive response across all levels of government and non-governmental partners (including the healthcare sector) and to identify and connect families affected by Zika to community services. In addition, Haynes said Funding may also be used to purchase preparedness resources like repellent, screens and supplies for Zika Prevention Kits.
According to the CDC website, Zika Prevention kits will include: a bed net, insect repellent, permethrin spray, standing water treatment tabs and condoms.
In addition to the Zika-specific funding, Haynes said the CDC has awarded $567.5 million in cooperative agreements to 62 public health departments across the country to improve and sustain emergency preparedness of state and local public health systems. Individual departments will receive funds ranging from $320,000 to $38 million.
As of yet, Haynes said there have been no cases of Zika that began in the continental U.S.
Instead, all cases have resulted from infected people visiting or returning to the U.S. after visiting a Zika-infected area. As of yet, Haynes said five such cases of Zika have been reported in Kansas.
For more information about Zika itself, official statistics or proper preventative measures, visit www.cdc.gov/zika