Yellowstone County has first case of Zika infection

ZIKA-VIRUS-e1453998640470RiverStone Health and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services say they have identified the first case of Zika virus infection in Yellowstone County.

Here is the whole story, via a press release from RiverStone Health:

This is the fourth reported case in Montana and was found in an adult male who had traveled to an affected area. In February, Missoula County reported the first travel-related case of Zika in Montana.

As of July 27, there have been 1,658 confirmed cases of Zika in the United States. Nearly all cases were travel-related. Diagnosis of Zika is based on a person’s recent travel history, symptoms and results from a blood or urine test.

Zika is a disease caused by a virus that is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito that is not found in Montana. Travelers returning from Zika-affected areas who have symptoms, or who are pregnant, or who are planning a pregnancy, should consult their healthcare provider.

“What we know about Zika virus and its transmission is evolving. This case reminds us that anyone traveling to a Zika-affected area should be aware of the risks,” said John Felton, president & CEO of RiverStone Health and the Yellowstone County health officer.

According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of Zika infection are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Many people who become infected never have symptoms. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild.

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In pregnant women, Zika virus has been linked to serious birth defects, including microcephaly. The CDC recommends that pregnant women not travel to any area affected by Zika. If travel to an affected area is necessary, women should talk to their healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.

Zika can be sexually transmitted from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. It can be passed even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time, or if symptoms have gone away.

Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder that can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Most people fully recover from GBS.

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease and no specific medical treatment for people who are infected. For more information about the Zika virus, go to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.

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