Minnesota state and federal health officials confirmed Wednesday a case of Zika virus disease in an Anoka County woman in her 60s. Symptoms began January 1, after the woman traveled to Honduras. She was not hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery.
This is the first confirmed case of Zika virus infection in a Minnesota traveler this year. The most recent previous Minnesota case was detected in 2014 in a man who traveled to French Polynesia. The mosquito-borne infection is occasionally found in travelers returning home from areas known to be affected, but it has yet to be transmitted in the continental United States. The mosquito species known to transmit the virus are not currently found in Minnesota.
“Zika virus is not a health threat for people in Minnesota, but it is a reminder that anyone traveling to a different part of the world should be mindful of the health issues present in that region,” said MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger. “Since some regions where Zika is circulating are popular destinations for Minnesota travelers in the winter, we expected we might see cases of Zika in the state.”
As of January 27, CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas, which in the Western Hemisphere include the following: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.