Health officials in Rhode Island have reported the first confirmed case of Zika virus in the state. The individual who tested positive, a male in his 60s, had recently traveled to Haiti, where there is active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika.
“We have been closely monitoring the Zika situation internationally and have been coordinating with Rhode Island healthcare providers for months. We were fully prepared for this first case,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “While the risk to the public is very low, we are coordinating with doctors, especially those who work with pregnant women, on how best to identify symptoms and educate patients about prevention.”
“We don’t expect locally-acquired cases here because the species of mosquitoes that are currently known to transmit Zika are not found in Rhode Island,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott. “However, Rhode Islanders who are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to countries where there is active transmission of the virus.”