Friday, May 27, 2016 - 1:33pm
Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) has received notification that Zika virus infection has been confirmed in a woman residing in Dane County. The patient, who is not pregnant, acquired the infection while traveling in Colombia where Zika infected mosquitoes are present.
“Travelers are highly encouraged to follow prevention recommendations to avoid becoming infected with Zika virus. PHMDC has been advising healthcare providers to monitor patients who have been traveling for possible Zika symptoms, and we will continue to monitor the local mosquito population,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of PHMDC.
Zika virus is transmitted to persons primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, but can also be transmitted through blood transfusions and sexual activity. Cases of Zika that have been reported in the United States have occurred mostly among travelers to countries where there is active and ongoing spread of the disease, which is primarily in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika virus infection in Wisconsin or in the continental United States.
Symptoms occur in 1 in 5 persons infected with Zika virus and include fever, conjunctivitis, rash, and/or joint pain. The illness is typically mild and resolves within one week. However, Zika infection in pregnant women is associated with congenital microcephaly and fetal losses. Guillain-Barre syndrome has also been linked in patients after suspected Zika infection.
PHMDC advises individuals with symptoms to see a healthcare provider if they have visited an area where Zika virus is present or had sexual contact with a person who traveled to an area with Zika virus. In addition, the CDC currently recommends that all women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant postpone travel to areas where the Zika virus is present or consult their doctor before traveling. Pregnant women who have traveled to an area with the Zika virus should talk to their doctors about testing for Zika virus.
During mosquito season in Dane County, approximately late May through September, PHMDC routinely monitors adult and larvae mosquitoes.
“In over ten years of monitoring, we have not found the species of mosquitoes identified as Zika carriers in our community,” says John Hausbeck, PHMDC Environmental Health Supervisor. “We will continue to monitor this upcoming season for these specific mosquitoes, in addition to other species that transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus.”
At this time, there is no specific medication available to treat Zika virus and there is not a vaccine. The best way to avoid Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites and to avoid unprotected sexual contact with a person who has Zika virus.
For PHMDC information about Zika virus and mosquito monitoring
For CDC information on Zika
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302, firstname.lastname@example.org