What's Going Around: LA Zika fight and superbug concerns - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: LA Zika fight and superbug concerns

A mosquito seen under the microscope. (Source: KPLC) A mosquito seen under the microscope. (Source: KPLC)

This week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is urging the state's congressional delegation to support federal legislation to provide funding to help Louisiana and other high-risk states fight a potential Zika virus outbreak.

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital infectious disease physician, Tim Haman, says those concerns are valid.

"It's more of a concern because of the climate here," said Dr. Haman.  "We would support the same type of mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting the virus," 

Close to 300 pregnant women in the United States have tested positive for Zika, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The first baby to be born with Zika and a condition connected to it called microcephaly, was born in the United States.  The mother was visiting New Jersey from Honduras and contracted the virus before she arrived here.

Dr. Haman says no transmission of Zika in the U.S. has been reported so far.

"Every single one of those cases was acquired somewhere else," said Dr. Haman.  "There's not a single case that was transmitted here.  Another reason the number is going up is that they're now talking about the U.S. and territories, so they're including places like Puerto Rico and other places that are not in the contiguous United States."

Dr. Haman says one other big medical concern this week is the case of a Pennsylvania woman who developed a resistance to a last line antibiotic, raising flags about the presence of a superbug in America for the first time.

"There was a patient that had a urinary tract infection with an E. coli bacteria that showed a resistance to Colistin, which is our last line drug, said Dr. Haman.

This is the first time in America that doctors say this particular strain of bacteria has been found in the U.S.  

Dr. Haman says this superbug is a reminder about the greater need to protect antibiotic usage.

"It just shows that antibiotic resistance continues to progress and we need to be more cautious with antibiotic use as physicians and patients need to understand that they need to avoid antibiotics that aren't necessary," he said.

Now the CDC is investigating how the woman may have contracted the bacteria.

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