NEVADA CITY, Calif. October 28, 2016 – The Nevada County Public Health Department is reporting the county’s first confirmed case of Zika Virus in a resident who traveled to Latin America. The single confirmed case acquired the infection abroad, not locally, and is not a risk to the community. To date, in California, there have been no known Zika infections from local mosquitoes. Also of note, the Aedes mosquitoes that primarily spread the virus have not been detected in Nevada County.
“As we approach the holidays and increased travel, this is a good reminder that residents should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites especially when traveling to areas with Zika virus transmission,” said the Nevada County public health officer, Dr. Ken Cutler. He added, “Because Zika infection can cause severe birth defects if a pregnant woman becomes infected, it is recommended that pregnant women should not travel to any area with a current Zika outbreak.”
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Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes but can be sexually transmitted as well. Most people with Zika have no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms when they do occur are fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes. There is no current vaccine for Zika or a medicine to treat it so following travel advisories and preventing mosquito bites remain the best ways to avoid infection.
As of October 21, 2016, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) had reported 348 total travel-associated infections with Zika in California residents in 2015 and 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates information on Zika (www.cdc.gov/zika) including a list of countries with Zika transmission as well as recommendations to decrease the risk of sexual transmission. Residents planning travel to areas with Zika are encouraged to talk with their healthcare provider.