LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the second confirmed case of Zika virus in a Clark County resident. The patient is an adult female who recently traveled to Brazil.
“The Health District continues to test people in keeping with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We do expect that we will report more positive cases in the future. However, it is important for the public to continue to understand that to date these cases have all been acquired outside of the United States,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.
The Health District continues to stress the Zika virus is primarily spread though the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. This species of mosquito has not currently been identified in Southern Nevada. The Health District’s Vector Control Program is equipped to trap and identify this specific species, as it has been found in neighboring states.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Additional symptoms can include muscle pain and headache. The virus is usually mild, and four out of five people infected will not know they have the disease. Patients usually don’t require hospitalization, and Zika rarely results in death.
People traveling to areas where Zika is known to be spreading should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Additionally, the CDC is recommending that all travelers returning from an area with Zika take steps to prevent mosquito bites for up to three weeks, even if they do not feel sick. Men returning from areas with Zika, even without symptoms, are advised that if they have pregnant partners they should wear condoms the right way every time they have sex during the pregnancy, and with all partners.
The Health District advises anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to Zika virus, and who has traveled to an area where the virus is circulating to consult with a health care provider. A Zika virus diagnosis is based on travel history, clinical signs and symptoms, and laboratory blood tests. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease, and no specific treatment for the infection.
In addition to mosquito bites, Zika can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, and it can spread during sex from a man to his partners. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion has also been reported and is being investigated. The CDC continues to investigate a potential link to pregnant women who are infected with the virus and an increase in birth defects. The CDC is recommending special precautions for pregnant women, women who are trying to get pregnant, and their partners.
Up to date CDC recommendations and travel advisories are available on the CDC website.
Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, and Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.