A woman who recently traveled to a country where Zika is currently detected has returned to South Dakota and tested positive for the Zika virus.  The woman developed symptoms which alerted medical staff to test for the virus, which was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. South Dakota epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger commented on the detection.

This is a good reminder for anyone who travels to Zika-affected areas that it’s important to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Although the virus in healthy individuals results in flu like symptions about five days after transmission, the major concern lies in pregnant women contracting the virus and the risk to an unborn baby and potential defects including a smaller head and underdeveloped brains.

Pregnant women should avoid traveling to countries with active transmission of Zika, including Miami-Dade County in Florida. Men who live in or have visited Zika transmission areas should abstain from unprotected sex. Individuals who do travel to a Zika-affected area and become ill within two weeks should see their doctor. Pregnant women who travel to Zika transmission areas should be tested two to 12 weeks after their return, whether they are sick or not.

Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes and has not been detected by mosquitoes found in South Dakota. For more information on the virus and the latest travel advisories check the CDC’s Zika site at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.

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