With cases as close as Broward County, health officials in Palm Beach County are keeping an eye out for the Zika virus.
On Friday, a clinic that provides free medical care in Boynton Beach is taking steps to make sure patients are informed about it
At the Caridad Center, Dr. John Strasswimmer makes a point of telling his patients about the Zika virus.
Turns out the virus is already on one patient’s mind.
“Particularly in Lake Worth she has a lot of friends who are pregnant who are very worried about this right now,” Strasswimmer translated from a patient from Guatemala.
He has volunteereed in countries like Venezuela, where clusters of the Zika virus have shown up. Many of his patients travel to those countries too.
It’s why he's starting an awareness program at Caridad to educate everyone who comes in about Zika and other potentially serious mosquito-borne illnesses,
“What we see are surprises, for example some viruses cause debilitating arthritis in people, some cause birth defects,” explained Strasswimmer.
Today staff printed flyers about Zika for the first time. For volunteer Agneris Pedroso the information is especially important. She's three months pregnant
“I'm so scared for that one in case the mosquitos pinch me, it's a problem for my baby,” said Agneris. “So i never go outside in the night. I use a lot of repellent.”
Strasswimmer says prevention is our best defense.
“I anticipate it's going to become a significant problem here in Palm Beach County in the very near future,” said Strasswimmer.