First Case of Zika Virus Reported in Montana
Montana health officials have confirmed the state’s first case of Zika virus in a returning traveler.
The case involves an adult female from Missoula County who returned from a Zika-affected area, the Department of Public Health and Human Services said in a press release issued today. The woman is not pregnant, the DPHHS added in the release.
The Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito, which is not found in Montana. The DPHHS encourages travelers returning from Zika-affected areas who have symptoms or are pregnant to speak with a health care provider. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes.
“This case serves as a reminder that anyone traveling to Zika-affected parts of the world should be mindful of the health issues present in that region,” said Jim Murphy of the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Communicable Disease Bureau.
According to the release from the DPHHS, about 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus will get sick. The virus has been linked to serious health problems in pregnant woman, including a birth defect in children born to infected women.
The DPHHS Zika website has detailed information about prevention, signs and symptoms of the illness and a list of Zika-affected areas. The page includes a direct link to CDC for information about how to prevent Zika virus, symptoms, and detailed information for health care providers, facts sheets and more. Go to www.dphhs.mt.gov