First Connecticut case of domestically-acquired Zika virus reported

On Wednesday, the State Department of Public Health  announced that the first case of Zika virus in Connecticut acquired in the continental United States had been reported. The patient had recently traveled to Florida.

The department is reminding residents, particularly pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, to avoid travel to regions that have been affected by Zika virus. 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, the department advised.

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites, though it can also spread through sexual transmission. While illness is usually mild, the possible link with birth defects and miscarriages makes prevention of infection among pregnant women essential. To avoid infections in pregnant women recommendations include: 1) postponing travel to areas where Zika virus is circulating among mosquitoes, 2) adopting precautions to avoid mosquito bites if travel is necessary, 3) 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, 2016. To date, 85 patients have tested positive for the Zika virus in Connecticut, five of which who were pregnant. According to the US 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 ct.gov/zika .

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