1 Case of Zika Virus Confirmed in Northern Idaho
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Public health officials are saying that a north Idaho woman has been infected with the Zika virus. It is the first reported case of Zika in the Gem State.
The 60-year-old woman recently traveled to Mexico, according to a news release by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Panhandle Health District. Idaho is the 47th state to report a travel-related Zika infection this year.
The Billings Gazette is reporting that one case of Zika also has been confirmed in Yellowstone County, the fourth reported case in Montana.
The Zika virus is generally contracted through a certain species of mosquito that is not found in Idaho. Because of this, the department says there is no danger to the general public. It also can be spread by an infected person through sexual contact.
About one in five people exposed to the virus develop any symptoms, according to the department, which usually are mild and last for a few days to a week. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, pinkeye, muscle and joint pain.
On the more serious end, Zika can cause birth defects and other problems for babies whose mothers are infected during pregnancy. There is no preventive vaccine for Zika virus.
The department cautions travelers when visiting areas where the virus is active, such as the Caribbean and Pacific islands, Central and South America, Mexico and an area in northern Miami.
Public health officials say to protect from mosquito bites, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants; use EPA-registered insect repellents; use permethrin-treated clothes and gear; and sleep in screen or air-conditioned rooms.
Since January, there have been 1,658 cases of Zika in the U.S., according to the CDC, all of which are related to travel outside the country.