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Home News Second Confirmed Case of Travel Acquired Zika Virus Infection
Kenny Vigil
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Second Confirmed Case of Travel Acquired Zika Virus Infection

June 1, 2016 - Zoonotic Diseases - Disease

Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as absent or poorly developed brain structures, defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth.The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a second travel-related case of Zika in the state in a 40-year-old Bernalillo County woman. The woman acquired the virus while traveling to the Caribbean.

“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 Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher. “We continue to work closely with the CDC as the number of travel-related Zika cases are rising in the United States.”

The CDC has issued travel warnings for anyone headed to specific countries where there is active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus. The latest list of affected countries can be found at the Zika Virus Travel Information page.

Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms; however, in infected pregnant women the virus has been linked to birth defects including microcephaly and other poor birth outcomes. Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or at delivery. While the virus is mainly transmitted by mosquitos, it can also be transmitted through semen.

CDC recommends pregnant women avoid travel to an area with Zika and that men traveling to areas where virus is actively transmitted by mosquitoes to either abstain from having sex with a pregnant partner, or properly use a condom for the duration of the pregnancy.

To avoid Zika and other viruses like West Nile Virus, which are spread by mosquitos, take the following steps:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for children and pregnant or breast-feeding women.
    • Always follow the product label instructions
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent
  • If you have a baby or child:
    • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age (follow label instructions)
    • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and or
    • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, or cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with perethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

The CDC reports that as of May 25, 2016, there have been 591 cases of Zika virus infection reported in the United States, all travel-related, with an additional 939 in US territories.

For more information, please visit the Get Educated About Zika Virus and Zika Virus Information for Pregnant Women pages.

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Segundo Caso Confirmado de Infección del Virus Zika Adquirido por un Viajero