MONTPELIER — The Williams County Health Department is reporting the county’s first case of Zika virus in a returning traveler – a 32-year-old Williams County woman returning from Jamaica. There have been no cases of Zika virus transmitted through mosquitoes in the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 32 travel-associated cases of Zika virus found in the state, including one that was sexually transmitted. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 1,800 travel-associated cases of Zika. A travel-associated case means that a person with Zika became infected during travel to an area with active Zika transmission.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted through a mosquito bite, and there is no indication that it can spread from person to person through casual contact. CDC has confirmed a U.S. case of Zika virus infection in a non-traveler after the person’s sexual partner returned from an affected country and developed symptoms. Due to the possible association between Zika virus infections in pregnant women and certain birth defects, CDC recommends that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant consider postponing travel to areas with Zika virus transmission.
There is no vaccine available for Zika virus so it’s important for people traveling to affected areas to take steps to prevent mosquito bites: use insect repellents, limit exposure where and when mosquitoes are most active, and remove breeding sources such as containers that collect standing water.
Of people infected with the Zika virus, 80 percent do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are often mild, lasting from several days to a week, and include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and headache. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Zika Travel Tips:
•Before your trip
•Check latest travel notices at cdc.gov/travel
•If you are pregnant do not travel to areas with Zika
•If you are trying to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about your travel plans
•During your trip
•Protect yourself from mosquito bites
•After your trip
•Protect yourself from mosquito bites for 3 weeks after returning
•Use condoms or don’t have sex, especially if your partner is pregnant
•Watch for symptoms, see your healthcare provider if you feel sick
Go to the ODH website at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/zika for more information about Zika virus and links to CDC resources including travel advisories for countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.