First Case Of Zika Virus Confirmed In Indiana

Feb 9, 2016

Zika virus infection confirmed in Indiana resident Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.
Credit Sanofi Pasteur / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanofi-pasteur/

State health officials on Tuesday confirmed the first case of Zika virus in Indiana.

The person is a non-pregnant resident who recently traveled to Haiti, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

The state will not identify the individual, but says the illness was not severe enough to require hospitalization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the infection was Zika virus.

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says he expects additional travel-related cases in Indiana.

“The risk of contracting Zika virus here in Indiana remains low,” he says. “We urge anyone visiting affected areas to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”

The virus is primarily spread to humans through bites from an infected mosquito. The CDC also reported isolated cases of Zika infection spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.

Most people don’t show symptoms of the viral infection, but the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an emergency last week after a spike in the number of cases of microcephaly, or babies born with small heads and brain damage, mainly in Central and South America.

The CDC advises pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas where the Zika virus has been detected.

It also recommends men who have a pregnant partner and who have traveled to an area where Zika virus is active should abstain from unprotected sex for the duration of the pregnancy.

People who travel to affected areas are urged to take precautions, including:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin,
  • Stay in places with air conditioning, window and door screens to keep mosquitos outside.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents and products containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus.

For more information about the Zika virus and how to protect yourself, go online to  www.cdc.gov/zika,  www.who.int or www.in.gov/isdh.