CDC warns pregnant travelers of Zika virus; 2 IL women test positive


Confirmed cases of the Zika virus have been reported in four states, health officials said, as concerns over the mosquito-borne virus spread.

The CDC has issued a travel notice for Zika virus in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Two of those people live in Miami-Dade County and traveled to Colombia in December, and the third infected person lives in Hillsborough County and traveled to Venezuela in December, according to the Washington Post.

"It presents very similarly with a fever, with headache, especially pain behind the eyeballs, sometimes redness of the eyes and aches and pains, sometimes a full body rash", said Dr. Park.

Three cases have been reported in Florida and two in IL.

All of those diagnosed with Zika in the US were reportedly infected in countries overseas where Zika has begun circulating, health officials say.

The Health Ministry wants Malaysians planning to visit countries affected by outbreaks of the Zika virus, to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

Yet, in the Brazil cases, most of the mothers appeared to have been infected during their first trimester.

Travelers can protect themselves from this disease by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. Most cases of Zika virus, which is spread by mosquito bites, are usually mild with symptoms lasting about one week.

Crystal Chavez is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando.

"We have 560 pregnant women among these 13,500 cases and we expect an expansion similar to that of the chikungunya virus last year to finish out the year with the number of cases between 600,000 and 700,000", Colombian Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria said in a press conference.

At least one species of mosquito common in Florida and the Gulf Coast, Aedes aegypti, can spread Zika, but it's not known whether other mosquitoes ranging farther north in the country can also transmit the virus.

Microcephaly, of which the newborn's head size is smaller than expected, often means that the infant's brain is smaller and might not have developed properly, according to Cynthia Moore, MD, PhD, the director of the CDC's Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Pregnant women who have fever should be given acetaminophen.

Dr. Sarah Park, the Hawaii state epidemiologist, said Tuesday the mother no longer had the virus when she arrived in Hawaii and the baby no longer had it at the time of birth.

Workers in Brazil are going door to door encouraging and educating residents about how to clean up standing water, which provides ideal breeding ground for the Zika-carrying mosquitoes.