OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) –The Oklahoma State Department of Health has received confirmation that two people in Oklahoma acquired the Zika virus during international travel.
The CDC lab in Fort Collins, CO, notified the OSDH of the results this week.
"Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, though there also have been reports of transmission through sexual contact or from mother to unborn child. The disease can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes. These symptoms typically last several days to a week, and hospitalizations are rare. Most people exposed to Zika virus won't develop any symptoms at all," OSDH said in an email.
Pregnant women have the most significant health threat because the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, miscarriages and other poor birth outcomes.
Local transmission of the Zika virus is not currently happening in the United States.
"We are recommending that individuals returning from travel to areas where Zika virus has been identified to consult with their physician if they exhibit any of the symptoms associated with the disease, particularly women who are pregnant" said Oklahoma State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. "Fortunately for Oklahoma, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is not commonly found in the state".
If you do travel somewhere that has the Zika virus spreading via mosquitoes, OSDH has a few tips to prevent exposure:
- Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
- Use mosquito repellents according to instructions
- If weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Reduce the number of mosquitoes by dumping out any standing water
For more information about the Zika virus, check out www.ok.gov/health.