The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced the first case of Zika virus infection in a North Carolina resident. The case was confirmed in an adult person who has recently traveled to a country with ongoing Zika virus transmission. The patients’ symptoms have resolved. To protect patient confidentiality no additional details on this patient will be provided.

North Carolina map/ National Atlas of the United States
North Carolina map/ National Atlas of the United States

“As long as the outbreak continues in Central and South America and the Caribbean, we expect to see more travel-related Zika virus infections in our state,” said Randall Williams, MD, State Health Director. “While travel-related cases don’t present a public health threat to North Carolina, we always actively monitor emerging global situations and adjust resources to meet needs.”

At this time, no cases of the disease are known to have been acquired in North Carolina or elsewhere in the continental United States, with the exception of one infection in Texas attributed to sexual transmission. As of Feb. 18, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported travel-related Zika virus infections in 21 other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We have anticipated all along that travel-related cases would be identified in North Carolina,” said Megan Davies, MD, State Epidemiologist. “We want to take this opportunity to reinforce that travelers to any of the countries with active Zika transmission should follow precautions to minimize their exposure to mosquito bites.”

In Iredell and Mecklenburg counties, health officials have reported confirmed cases of the mumps, one in each county. In addition, the Iredell County Health Department is currently investigating six other suspected cases.

Mumps outbreaks can happen even in highly vaccinated populations.  Annually the number of reported mumps cases can range from a few hundred to a couple thousand in the United States.

Anyone who demonstrates symptoms such as: fever, headache, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, muscle ache, pain or discomfort, and tender and/or swelling of the glands below the ears should contact their physician and have appropriate laboratory testing completed.

Here are a few facts about mumps:

  • Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands.
  • The virus is found in mucous, saliva, and respiratory droplets.
  • It is spread through: coughing, sneezing, talking, coming in contact with a person’s saliva. For example: sharing eating utensils, water bottles, cups, food, and more.
  • Sanitize hard surfaces that are often touched by others.
  • Symptoms start 12-25 days after you are exposed to the virus. A person is more likely to spread the virus in 1-2 days before and up to 5 days after the salivary glands begin to swell. See symptoms above.
  • Two different vaccines can prevent mumps–only works before exposure to the virus: MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) and MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chicken Pox also known as Varicella vaccines).