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Division of Public Health Provides Information on First Delaware Case of Zika Virus

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(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)

DELAWARE - The Delaware Division of Public Health provided new details about a woman who became infected by the Zika Virus, while traveling in another country. The health officials said that the infection was "not unexpected" due to the high number of cases abroad. 

"We want to emphasize," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of DPH. "That there is no threat of local infection from this case." 

Rattay did not release the victim's age, name, or home county in order to protect her privacy. She said that there have been two cases nationwide where Zika has been transmitted sexually from a man to a woman, however she said it has never been recorded to have gone from a woman to a man during sex. For that reason, she said that the woman was not at risk for spreading the disease. 

Rattay said that there have been a number of cases where the disease may have passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child, across the globe. Health officials said that the victim was not pregnant at the time of her infection. 

The announcement has many people on edge, including Marie Gungui, of Lewes, who is preparing to go to Mexico later this week. 

"I think it's very scary no matter where you're living,' she said. "You know - to be bit by a mosquito, and for it to be life-threatening to your child is quite concerning... I'm still going. I can't live in a bubble. I refuse to." 

Others like Linda Mitchell in Bethany Beach said that the announcement from DPH is above all else motivation for her to learn more about the disease, to make sure her family is safe. 

"How can you protect yourself," she said. "I mean - you can't cover yourself from top to bottom. You know - your hands, your face, your neck, your scalp. So it's very scary to me. And I'm concerned about it." 

The Zika virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. Most people who contract it have either mild or no symptoms, but it is suspected of causing a birth defect that results in babies born with abnormally small heads. Pregnant Americans are urged to avoid travel to affected areas.

DPH Zika Virus Information Page: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html

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