Arkansas Resident Tests Positive For Zika Virus
Little Rock, Ark. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that an Arkansas resident has tested positive for Zika virus on Monday Jan. 25.
The individual got a mild case of Zika after traveling out of the country recently, the CDC stated in a press release.
Zika virus is a relatively new disease for the Western hemisphere. It first appeared in Brazil in May of 2015 and has since spread to 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. The virus is spread through mosquito bites.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week. Many people who have Zika will not experience symptoms. Currently there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika.
Pregnant women are most at risk for complications due to the Zika virus, because it’s been associated with serious birth defects in children born to women who are infected with the virus.
“Arkansas residents traveling to Central or South America or the Caribbean, where Zika is present, should take precautions against mosquitoes. If you are pregnant, consider postponing your trip,” said Dr. Nate Smith, Arkansas Department of Health Director and State Health Officer said in the release. “Arkansas has the kind of mosquitoes that carry Zika virus, so mosquitoes here in Arkansas can become infected with the virus if they bite someone who has Zika. For this reason, people traveling to countries with Zika should avoid mosquito bites for 10 days after they return. Travelers to areas where Zika is present should also go to their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms associated with Zika within three to seven days after they return.”
The CDC’s website lists 22 countries and territories where the virus is being actively transmitted.
The CDC shared these tips to avoid mosquito bites:
- Using an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers.
- Using air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Reducing the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets. Mosquitoes can breed in as little amount of water as a bottle cap.