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How Worried Should Illinois Be About Zika?

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can spread a number of diseases, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
James Gathany
/
CDC / Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame
The Aedes aegypti mosquito can spread a number of diseases, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently reported the state is aware of 47 cases of Zika virus, including at least three pregnant women. Meanwhile, officials in Florida are trying to contain the first known mosquito-borne outbreak of the disease in the continental U.S.

In an attempt to sort through the facts and fears about Zika, we spoke to Dr. Janak Koirala, division chief of infectious disease and a travel medicine specialist at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

Brian Mackey interviews Dr. Janak Koirala about Zika, West Nile and what Illinoisans can do to prevent being infected by mosquito-borne diseases.

Brian Mackey covers state government for NPR Illinois. You can follow his reporting on Twitter and Facebook. A version of this story was first broadcast onIllinois Editionon August 16, 2016.

Copyright 2021 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.