Travel related case of Zika virus reported in Lancaster County

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A fourth case of travel-related Zika virus was recently reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The person is a woman in her 30s from Lancaster County who recently traveled to a Zika-affected country. She wasn’t hospitalized.

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of a mosquito. Although the virus usually causes mild illness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have also been reports of birth defects and other severe health consequences.

State health officials expect to see more travel-related cases of Zika virus in Nebraska and DHHS will be updating state-specific case information frequently. If people are traveling to an area with Zika, it’s important to prevent mosquito bites both abroad and when they come back home. Preventive tips include:

-Using an EPA-registered insect repellent properly
-Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
-Staying in places with air conditioning or that have screens on doors and windows

The CDC recommends that pregnant women in any trimester avoid travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. The latest travel health notices and information - http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

Eighty percent of people infected with the Zika virus do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are often mild, lasting from several days to a week, and include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and headache. While severe disease requiring hospitalization can occur it’s uncommon. There are reports of a birth defect called microcephaly in babies of mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant. Microcephaly is a rare condition where a baby’s head is smaller than expected.