Connecticut health officials reported the fourth individual has tested positive for Zika virus. The patient is a non-pregnant woman in her 30s who traveled from the Caribbean to Connecticut on April 25th and became ill on April 29th. Her symptoms included fever, rash and conjunctivitis.
The State Laboratory confirmed the patient’s test result using PCR testing. This level of testing is used for patients who are actively experiencing symptoms of the virus.
In addition, The State Department of Public Health (DPH) reiterated warnings urging Connecticut residents, particularly pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, to avoid travel to countries that have been affected by Zika virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika is expected to infect roughly 700,000 people on the island of Puerto Rico by the end of the year. With a large Puerto Rican community in Connecticut, and sizable populations from other Zika-affected countries, coupled with daily flights to Puerto Rico and other countries from Bradley and airports in neighboring states, travelers should protect themselves from the virus by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites.
When traveling to countries 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.
“With no vaccine or antiviral drug currently available to prevent infection or protect a developing fetus, it is imperative that women in any trimester of pregnancy, women who are planning to become pregnant, and their male sexual partner follow recommendations for prevention,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.
“Women who are pregnant should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip. With hundreds of positive cases nationwide, I encourage residents to be vigilant. We at the state level are monitoring the situation with the utmost diligence.”