MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Memphians were shocked to hear a case of the Zika Virus was found in East Tennessee.
“Oh my God. Like I was thinking about my grandbaby, and I was thinking about my family as a whole. You know? That’s scary,” Sheri Curtis said.
Scary because there is no vaccine to prevent the virus and no treatment for those infected.
Mosquitoes carrying the virus have not been found in the Mid-South, but the virus can also be transmitted between humans.
Since the Zika Virus can also be transmitted sexually, health officials said there are some things you can do to keep you and your family safe.
“Anytime there is something new to us that we haven’t heard of before, it can get very scary, and it will make people more anxious and more alert about what they’re doing,” Ashley Jones, with Planned Parenthood, said.
Planned Parenthood in Memphis has not gotten any calls from people with concerns about the Zika Virus, but workers are doing all they can to prepare.
“Right now what planned parenthood as an organization is doing is monitoring the Zika Virus very closely and we’re just trying to get the education and the accurate information so that when people come to us with questions we know how to answer those questions,” Jones said.
While Shelby County health records showed HIV and STD rates were on a downward trend over the last five years, Planned Parenthood said the high number of infections are still of concern.
“We always want to encourage people to use condoms any time you have sexual activity,” Jones said.
That is something people like Curtis is telling her sons now more than ever.
“I let them know that that’s very, very important to use protection,” Curtis said.