Oklahoma listed as ‘moderate risk’ for spread of Zika virus

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When Zika virus made headlines because of its link with the neurological disorder microcephaly, it became the latest in a growing list of mosquito-borne viruses for Americans to worry about.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The state’s response to the Zika virus was the subject of a hearing at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Oklahoma is listed as being at ‘moderate risk’ for the spread of the Zika virus.

Physicians discussed the challenge of helping expectant mothers take precautions if the virus does spread across the Sooner State.

They say it could be even harder because 62 percent of children born in our state are born to impoverished mothers.

“Over 305,000 women in Oklahoma are on SoonerCare, which means their births are being paid for by the taxpayer. That means they’re under the poverty line and that’s a frightening figure because we know from South America that it’s among poor and impoverished women that the Zika virus is spreading. So all we have to do is connect the dots,” said Rep. Richard Morrisette.

Oklahoma has the highest teen pregnancy rate and has a low rate of prenatal care.

Currently, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is monitoring mosquitoes by trapping them at several locations around the state and testing them for Zika.

They’ve found the type of mosquito that carries the virus, but have not found the virus in the Sooner State.

There have been 12 travel-related cases of Zika in our state.

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