Local News

Health officials confirm 1st case of Zika virus in Wake County

Posted March 3, 2016 10:32 a.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2016 6:55 p.m. EST

— A Wake County woman contracted the Zika virus while traveling abroad in Central and South America, marking the fifth confirmed case of the virus in the state, health officials said Thursday.

After returning to the United States, the woman exhibited symptoms associated with the Zika virus. A private physician administered a test for the virus, which came back positive. Officials said the woman traveled abroad in the last month. Her age was not released, but officials said the woman is not of child-bearing age.

Health officials said they are closely monitoring the woman.

“We are in contact with the patient and monitoring the patient’s progress,” Sue Lynn Ledford, public health division director at Wake County, said in a statement. “We want to reassure citizens that there is currently no risk of transmission from this patient to others.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 100 cases of travel-associated Zika virus in the United States; however, there are zero cases of transmission by mosquitoes in the United States.

One person in the United States also got Zika by having sex with an infected man. Men who have traveled to Zika-affected countries should not have sex, or they should use condoms every time they have sex for one month after returning, officials said.

Children born to women who were infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy may have a higher chance of having birth defects.

Only one out of every five people infected with Zika virus will show symptoms. Zika’s symptoms typically appear within two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Common symptoms include fever, red eyes, joint pains and rash. Other symptoms may include headache or muscle pain.

Citizens are reminded that they can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Reducing time spent outdoors
  • Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts treated with permethrin insect repellent when spending time outdoors
  • Applying EPA-approved mosquito repellents to exposed skin. Follow product instructions
  • Using air conditioning instead of opening windows and doors. Only open windows and doors with screens on them