The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting that a resident has tested positive for Zika virus disease after traveling in a Central American country where the virus is circulating. This is the first travel associated Zika case reported in the state.


Tests results were reported on March 9, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been testing samples from across the United States.

The male patient, who presented with Zika-related symptoms, recently returned to the Louisville area from Central America. He is doing well and expected to fully recover from the illness.

Zika, an infectious viral illness, is primarily spread through the bite of a mosquito that carries the virus. Zika is not known to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky – or any other part of the United States.

Meanwhile, many states around the country are reporting positive test results for Zika in residents who have traveled to countries experiencing Zika outbreaks. For this reason, Kentuckians traveling to Zika-affected areas of the world should take steps to protect themselves and their families from this and other vector-borne diseases, DPH advises.

“Many areas, including most of our surrounding states, are reporting Zika cases. For now, these positive results have only occurred in individuals who have traveled outside the country to places where the virus is currently spreading,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, DPH senior deputy commissioner.

“DPH continues to strongly advise anyone – especially pregnant women and children – planning to travel to countries where Zika virus is circulating take steps to protect themselves. This includes being knowledgeable about where the virus is spreading, consulting with a healthcare provider, and, most importantly, following public health’s recommendations to avoid mosquito bites.”

Official numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stands at 193 in 32 states and the District of Columbia as of Mar. 9.