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Connecticut Reports First Domestically Acquired Case Of Zika Virus

Mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus.
Mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut is reporting its first case of Zika virus that was acquired in the continental United States, the state Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.

The patient with Zika had recently traveled to Florida, DPH said.

At this time, DPH is reminding residents, particularly pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, to avoid travel to regions that have been affected by Zika virus, such as Florida, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Travelers to these areas should protect themselves from the virus by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. When traveling to areas where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes have been reported, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites, though it can also spread through sexual transmission.

Although the illness is usually mild, the possible link with birth defects and miscarriages makes prevention of infection among pregnant women essential, DPH said.

To avoid infections in pregnant women recommendations include:

  • postponing travel to areas where Zika virus is circulating among mosquitoes,
  • adopting precautions to avoid mosquito bites if travel is necessary,
  • men who travel to affected areas should abstain from sexual activity with a pregnant partner, or use condoms, for the duration of the pregnancy.

In Connecticut, surveillance for Zika virus began on Feb. 15.

To date, 85 patients have tested positive for the Zika virus in Connecticut, five of whom were pregnant.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,358 cases of Zika have been reported in the United States. For more information about the Zika virus visit http://ct.gov/zika .

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