First county case of Zika reported

A Pierce County man in his 20s has tested positive for the Zika virus. Officials said the man, whose name and community where he lives weren't reported, likely caught the virus recently while in Puerto Rico, a country known to have mosquitoes infected with the virus. He wasn't hospitalized and is recovering. But as a precaution, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is working with his health care provider to ensure that he follows guidelines from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) to prevent the spread of the virus. He is believed to be the first Pierce County resident to be infected with Zika. "The risk of Zika is extremely low in Pierce County. The mosquitoes that carry it are not found here and public health testing and reporting protocols control emerging diseases,GÇ¥ said Nigel Turner, the Health Department's director of its communicable disease division. "Those considering travel to areas with Zika should take appropriate precautions against the virus.GÇ¥ About 80 percent of people infected with the Zika virus never show symptoms. People primarily get it from the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. According to the state Department of Health, this type of mosquito is not native to Washington. To date, the 12 cases confirmed in our state are associated with travel to a country or region with ongoing Zika virus transmission. Only one in five infected people will have any symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild and can last a few days to a week. People usually do not get sick enough to go to the hospital. The virus spreads from: " Bite from an infected mosquito. " Mother to fetus. " Through sex. " Blood transfusions. The virus does not spread through casual contact with an infected person or from mosquitoes and other insects found in Washington. "We are a mobile society and people travel to areas where Zika may be prevalent, so we may see more cases in our communityGÇ¥ Turner said. "Emerging health concerns like Zika underscore the importance of our public health work to identify and control disease outbreaks. It's also a reminder that funding for this work helps to keep our communities safe.GÇ¥


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