4th Case of Zika Reported in Delaware; Man Had Been Abroad - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

4th Case of Zika Reported in Delaware; Man Had Been Abroad

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DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC) - Public health officials say a fourth case of Zika infection has been confirmed in Delaware resident who had traveled abroad.
The Division of Public Health said in a news release Friday that the Kent County man had traveled abroad in May and acquired the mosquito-borne virus. The previous three cases announced in February and March were New Castle County residents, two women and a man. 

Health officials said none of the Delaware residents are considered infectious if they are bitten by a mosquito that then bites another person; the virus leaves the blood after about a week and all current Delaware cases are two weeks to several months old. There have been no confirmed cases of transmission by a local mosquito bite anywhere in the continental U.S. Pregnancy is not a factor in any of the four Delaware cases, health officials said.
"We are not surprised at a fourth Delaware case given the amount of global travel these days and we expect more to come," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "It simply reinforces the message that taking mosquito bite prevention steps while abroad is very important. The illness continues to show no symptoms in the majority of people and symptoms are generally mild for those who do become ill. However, pregnant women and their male partners with a travel history to the countries with Zika should be especially concerned and take precautions because of the potentially very serious birth defects linked to the disease."

DPH said about one in five people infected with the virus develop the disease, and most people who are infected do not develop symptoms. A total of 109 Delawareans have or will be tested for Zika; 84 of those tested negative. The other 25 test results are still pending, 16 of whom are pregnant. 

International health officials say Zika can cause fetal death and severe brain defects in the children of women infected during pregnancy. Zika can also be spread by men via vaginal, anal, and oral sexual activity.
Health officials recommend condom use for men who have been diagnosed with Zika virus.

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