LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The first case of Zika virus has officially been found in the state of Arkansas.
The Arkansas Department of Health announced Tuesday that the state's first case of Zika has been discovered. The patient had reportedly recently traveled outside the country and caught a mild case of Zika.
Due to HIPAA laws, ADH was not able to specify what part of the state the patient is from.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people don't have symptoms of Zika, but the ones that do have reported mild fever, rash, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, lack of energy, weakness, and pink eye.
ADH said Zika first appeared in in Brazil May 2015 but has since spread to 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
This virus has been a point of concern for medical professionals as it has been linked to an epidemic of birth defects, including Guillian-Barre and microcephaly. CDC has said it is trying to learn more about the link between these defects and the virus, but in the meantime is cautioning pregnant women against traveling to these areas.
Travel notices can be found here: www.cdc.gov/travel
Many women in South America have been urged to not conceive. In El Salvador, women have been asked to avoid pregnancy until 2018.
Zika has been said to transmit through mosquitoes and not from person to person. There is currently no treatment or vaccine.
Ways to avoid mosquito bites from ADH:
- 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.
You can learn more about Zika here: www.cdc.gov/zika