NEW ORLEANS -- On Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the tenth Zika-related case in the state connected to people who have traveled outside the country. Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Louisiana funding to help battle the virus.
“The scent of it is really powerful, so I can dab a little bit on and its natural. It won't hurt the baby. There's no toxins or anything,” said Jolie Hamilton, who is expecting her second child.
These days Hamilton isn't taking any chances and how to avoid mosquito bites is constantly on her mind.
“The doctor said don't go out between the hours of 8 and 10 and 5 and 7, but that's really hard to do when you have kids and you're running around,” said Hamilton.
The Uptown woman and her husband are expecting a baby boy and like many pregnant women the fear of contracting the Zika virus is very real, especially now that Florida health officials are investigating two possible non-travel related cases.
"We're monitoring just like Florida does, and we are very concerned as we go into the summer months in Louisiana. We do not want Zika to start spreading locally,” said Dr. Frank Welch, Louisiana Department of Health Medical Director for Community Preparedness.
State health officials say two types of mosquitos can potentially spread the virus here at home, so they're asking the public to be proactive by using repellents like Hamilton does or avoiding travel to the Americas if you're trying to get pregnant.
Experts say another way to prevent mosquitos from breeding is to empty out any stagnant water that's sitting around your house or near your property at least once a week.
The Louisiana Department of Health just received $2.4 million from the CDC to help fight the Zika virus. State health officials confirm some of that money will be used in metro New Orleans to help educate the public and it will also help fund critical medical upgrades across the state.
"Upgrade some computer systems and equipment and supplies that are specific for Zika testing. When a new disease like this comes out, you're often times behind the ball, it hasn't been a thing before. So you need to make sure to get equipment and supplies to test for it,” said Dr. Welch.
As scientists try to get a better grasp of the Zika virus this expectant mom is doing all she can to protect the newest addition to her family due in December.
“I avoided all Caribbean vacations, pretty much any out of country vacations but if it’s around here spreading that's pretty frightening for sure. I think I'll stay indoors way more now,” said Hamilton.
State health officials say some of that CDC funding Louisiana received this week will also be used to help manage and track a pregnancy registry.