By Staff 8-12,2016
Wyoming’s first case of travel-related Zika virus in a state resident has been confirmed, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH). The Campbell County woman had recently traveled to a country with known, local Zika transmission and is not pregnant.
“Most states have already reported travel-related Zika illnesses. It is no surprise for this to also happen to someone from Wyoming,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH.
“Folks should consider Zika when planning travel to affected areas, but the discovery of the illness in a Wyoming resident does not mean an increased risk in our state and does not change our recommendations,” Murphy said.
Zika virus is spread to people mostly through bites of certain types of mosquitos not known to be found in Wyoming. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
Murphy said the biggest concern related to Zika virus is that it can be passed to babies during pregnancy and has strong links to a serious, brain-related birth defect known as microcephaly.
Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:
- Pregnant women should not travel to Zika-affected locations.
- Sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to an affected area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex during the pregnancy.
- Pregnant women who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.
- Women and men who traveled to an affected area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with Zika symptoms should wait at least 6 months.
- Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested.
“Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should check if their travel destination is affected by Zika virus and may need to consider postponing their plans,” Murphy said.