There is no sign of mosquitoes that could transmit the Zika Virus in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. DHS and local health partners continue to work on Zika prevention and response plans. Fewer than 20 people in Wisconsin have confirmed cases of Zika, all contracted during recent travel to areas which have mosquitoes that transmit the virus.
While the two types of mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus are not likely to make it as far north as Wisconsin, the Division of Public Health is actively collaborating with local health departments to watch for them. DHS contracts with the UW-Madison Medical Entomology Laboratory to monitor and study mosquito populations. To date, surveillance has not identified any of the mosquitoes that transmit Zika in Wisconsin.
DPH also provides guidance to local health care partners on lab testing protocols for people who have traveled to Zika-affected areas, with a special focus on providing information to, and testing pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika virus.
Pregnant mothers, and their unborn babies face the greatest threat from Zika, which can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, and may be associated with microcephaly.
As of August 3, a total of 573 people have been tested in Wisconsin, resulting in 18 confirmed travel-related Zika virus cases. There are currently no cases, or suspected cases, of Zika virus contracted in Wisconsin.
In April, Governor Scott Walker approved the addition of nine project positions in DPH to help with the response and prevention of outbreaks, including Elizabethkingia anophelis and also in anticipation of the presence of Zika.
While the types of mosquitoes that transmit Zika have not been found here, mosquitoes in Wisconsin can spread West Nile virus, La Crosse encephalitis, and other illnesses. Take precautions to prevent bites.