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Community Health News

What's Happening Now?

Zika Virus

Zika virus is spread through bites from infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Zika virus has not been found in any United States mosquitoes. All cases in the United States have been in travelers returning from countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Currently, over 20 countries and territories in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico are experiencing ongoing Zika virus transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Travel Alert for these areas, indicating that travelers should practice enhanced precautions while traveling to these regions. There is a potential link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in infants (smaller than normal head size). Due to this, the CDC is recommending that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant postpone trips to areas with Zika virus transmission.

Currently, Zika virus testing is only available through the CDC. Providers who suspect Zika virus in a patient should contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317 to coordinate testing.

For more information on the Zika Virus, please click on this link.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

In 2015, Sedgwick County reports 73 pertussis cases in which the disease investigation is complete. Some investigations from 2015 are still ongoing, so numbers may change. Cases are reported according to the year and month in which the person became ill. Most pertussis reports the Sedgwick County Health Department investigates are not linked to other cases outside a household.

The Health Department works with medical providers and Sedgwick County school nurses to investigate cases and stop the spread of disease.

You can find statewide data for reportable diseases here.

Sedgwick County Pertussis Cases


Am I At Risk?
Ebola is a rare disease and is only transmitted by direct contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. Symptoms of Ebola include: fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Only people who are exhibiting these symptoms AND meet one of the following criteria are at risk for having Ebola:

    1. Have recently traveled to an affected area in Africa
    2. Have had directed contact with a person who exhibiting Ebola symptoms and has recently traveled to Africa.

Ebola Fact Sheet

For statewide information and guidance on Ebola, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

For national information and guidance on Ebola, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County

With recent heavy rains and as we move into warmer months, mosquito totals are high, as expected. Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita track mosquito numbers and implement control measures in the area in order to protect the public from diseases such as West Nile virus, which are spread by bite of an infected mosquito. Residents are encouraged to eliminate or treat mosquito breeding areas of standing water in their neighborhood.

Mosquito Surveillance in Sedgwick County

The graph shows the number of mosquitoes identified in traps set in Sedgwick County (in and around the Wichita metropolitan area). Mosquito trapping is performed by the Kansas Biological Survey and coordinated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Culex species of mosquitoes are the primary vector for West Nile virus in the United States and Kansas. An increase in mosquitoes, especially Culex species, may indicate an increased risk of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans. WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Fight the Bite! Avoid mosquito bites by following the three Ds:

  • DRAIN: Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes live and breed.
  • DRESS: Cover your skin with clothing when outdoors.
  • DEET: Use insect repellents that contain DEET.

Notifiable Disease Investigations

notifiable diseases graph

Read about the epidemiology (disease investigation) program at the Sedgwick County Health Department

Sedgwick County...working for you

Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.