Hundreds of Kentucky health officials meet to discuss Zika threat strategy

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More than 400 public health professionals from across Kentucky gathered in Lexington to prepare for mosquito season.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services hosed the 2017 Kentucky Zika Summit on Thursday.

Health professionals came to Heritage Hall to discuss the current state of the Zika virus threat in Kentucky. They're also looking at strategies and policies they can coordinate to help with the statewide response to the virus.

Zika is a mosquito-born virus that has been linked to birth defects in babies born to women infected during pregnancy.

State health leaders say the virus is already in Florida and Texas. Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, Fayette County's Commissioner of Public Health, says the virus hasn't appeared yet in Kentucky, but that could change.

"There is a possibility during this mosquito season that we could see this particular virus migrate into our mosquito population here," noted Dr. Humbaugh.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has a city-wide campaign out to help prevent the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illness.

"We are also doing larvae sightings. We've been scouting areas of the city - larger bodies of water that need these types of products that prevent the immature mosquitoes from becoming adult mosquitoes," said Dr. Humbaugh.

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