Health

Kentucky is launching a Zika awareness and prevention program.

Six people, including at least one pregnant woman, have been diagnosed with the Zika virus in Kentucky.  All of them contracted it while traveling abroad.

State officials in the areas of health, agriculture, and entomology all participated in a Frankfort news conference Monday.

Infectious disease specialist Ardis Hoven is consulting with the State Department of Public Health.

“We’ll be looking and monitoring for local transmission, that’s the key issue, local transmission,” Hoven said. “To date, Kentucky has had none. In the United States, there has been no local transmission. It’s all been from travelers coming back from infected areas.”

Newly-infected persons can also transmit the disease through sexual activity. Zika has been shown to cause fetal birth defects in infants born to women infected during pregnancy.

Zika is mostly spread by mosquitos. Department of Agriculture officials anticipate increased spraying to control the insects this summer.