The Vermont Department of Health today announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the state’s first case of Zika virus in a Vermont resident, an adult who traveled to a Zika affected area before developing symptoms.
Zika is a virus spread by the bite of certain Aedes species of mosquitoes. Illness is usually mild, with the most common symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, and pink eye (conjunctivitis), although often a person infected with Zika has no symptoms.
Zika virus has caused microcephaly, a serious birth defect of the brain, in babies of mothers who had the virus while pregnant, and may cause other severe fetal brain defects..
“Based on what we know now, the mosquitoes that are in Vermont are not likely to transmit Zika virus,” said Patsy Kelso, PhD, state epidemiologist for infectious disease. “We’ve been expecting to see travel-related cases of Zika, and expect there will be more. We are advising Vermonters who are planning to travel to check to see if their destination is a Zika-affected area, and to take all precautions against mosquito bites. We advise women who are pregnant or could become pregnant to not travel to these areas.”
Zika virus can also be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners. To help prevent spreading Zika from sex, use condoms every time you have sex.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika.
Through Apr.13, the CDC has reported 358 travel associated Zika cases. Of the 358, 31 were in pregnant women, seven were sexually transmitted and one case of Guillain-Barré syndrome was reported.