Connecticut health officials reported Friday on the second travel associated Zika virus case in a traveler to a Zika affected area. The first case was reported one month ago.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) says they were informed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that a Connecticut man tested positive for the virus after returning from a trip to a Zika-affected area in the Caribbean. The patient developed a rash one day after his return. No other symptoms were reported.
“We encourage those concerned about symptoms to consult their doctor, particularly if they have traveled to an affected area and particularly if they are pregnant. We have been actively taking steps for months to prepare for a positive case, including expedited testing and a coordinated response across agencies. While the risk of transmission is low, we are nevertheless no doubt continuing that preparation to the extent that we can,” Governor Malloy said.
“Today’s test result highlights the need for everyone to take precautions if they are travelling to areas affected by Zika. While this virus is particularly dangerous for the babies of pregnant women, men need to be just as vigilant so that they don’t transmit the virus to their partners through sexual contact,” DPH Commissioner Raul Pino said.
In January, Governor Malloy directed DPH to test for Zika virus. While this particular test was done by NYC Health officials, the CT DPH Laboratory has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to perform two separate levels of testing for the Zika virus, giving patients and their physicians the ability to receive test results in a matter of days. Prior to this approval, specimens were sent to the CDC for testing, with an average turnaround of 3-4 weeks.
To date, 388 cases of Zika have been reported in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 33 were pregnant women and another 8 were sexually transmitted.
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