First sexually-transmitted case of Zika virus in Ohio

First sexually-transmitted case of Zika virus in Ohio

LUCAS CO., OH (FOX19) - The Ohio Department of Health has reported the first sexually-transmitted case of the Zika virus in the state. The virus was found in a 61-year-old Lucas County woman whose husband had  traveled to a country with active Zika virus transmission.

He was diagnosed with the virus when he returned and was the 15th travel-associated case.

Toledo officials are responding to the situation by "increasing mosquito assessment and control measures in the area" to prevent other mosquitoes from spreading the virus by biting people who are infected.

Ohio currently has 16 confirmed cases of the Zika virus - the 16th being woman in Lucas County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 755 travel-associated cases of the virus, zero reported from infected mosquitoes and 12 sexually-transmitted cases.

Medical experts still say the primary transmission of Zika is through mosquito bites in areas with active Zika virus transmission.

Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director of the ODH added, "When travelers return home, they should follow CDC guidance to prevent sexual transmission of the virus, especially pregnant women or women or may become pregnant."

They say there is no indication the virus can spread through casual contact. The virus is difficult to recognize without testing because 80 percent of infected people do not show any signs of having contracted it.

Of the people that have shown symptoms, the most common were: rash, fever, joint and muscle pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis) and headache lasting from a few days to one week.

The need for hospitalization is uncommon. However, there has been an association made between the virus and certain birth defects.

Dr. David Grossman, MD, Health Commissioner of Toledo-Lucas County Public Health said, "We have been preparing to make sure we are ready in case something like this happened. It's important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites and control the mosquito population 
by eliminating standing water, wearing insect repellent along with long sleeves and pants, and have intact screens on doors and windows."

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