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  • Returning Traveler Tests Positive for Zika Virus: Threat of Spread in Pima County Remains Low

    Jun 17, 2016 | Read More News
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    Fight the BiteThe Pima County Health Department and Arizona Department of Health Services have confirmed that a person who traveled outside of the United States to multiple locations in the Caribbean, where Zika is circulating, has tested positive for the virus.

    This person was quickly identified by Pima County Health Department upon return and has since recovered. This individual is no longer at risk of transmitting the virus. No additional cases have been identified and officials are confident this person was infected while traveling.

    “This person did not become infected while here in Pima County,” said Pima County Health Department Director Francisco García. “As soon as we knew this person was at risk for Zika, we took the necessary steps to inform the individual on how to prevent mosquito bites.” Health Department officials have also increased mosquito trapping, surveillance and testing throughout the County.

    “While travel related cases like this one are reminders that we should take steps to protect ourselves at home and during travel, the risk of having a person become infected with Zika virus while here in Pima County remains low,” Garcia said.

    mosquitoes can carry many diseases so it is important to protect yourself and your family at all times:

    • Dress to protect. Wear loose-fitting, light colored long sleeve shirts and pants.
    • Check your yard. Remove objects that collect water and dump any standing water. Change water for pets or plants daily and wipe out the container with a cloth.
    • Use mosquito repellent. Use sprays or lotions with DEET or other ingredients proven to keep mosquitoes away.
    • Protect yourself when traveling. Use mosquito repellent and clothes that will prevent mosquito bites while you travel. Speak to your healthcare provider if you feel ill upon return.

    Zika is a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and red/swollen eyes. It is typically a mild illness and symptoms usually only last a few days to a week. Only about one in five people infected with Zika will feel sick and illness does not usually require hospitalization. The virus can be transmitted by several Aedes species of mosquitoes. Arizona is home to one of these types of mosquitoes.