Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County has confirmed the first positive case of Zika virus in a Montgomery County resident. The individual is a 44 year-old man who contracted the illness while traveling to Haiti. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Zika virus an emerging public health threat. No known cases of Zika virus have been acquired from mosquitos within the U.S.
The greatest concern with the virus is its potential impact upon pregnant women, due to potential links to microcephaly (a birth defect where babies are born with abnormally small heads). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. A link to the guidance can be found at: www.cdc.gov
Zika virus is transmitted to persons primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The primary mosquito that transmits Zika virus is Aedes aegypti. This mosquito is found in the tropics and Southern United States. Public Health continues to encourage people to follow travel precautions and avoid mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild and goes away within one week.
Preventative measures residents can take to avoid mosquito bites include draining any standing water that has collected on the property, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, ensuring that window screens are properly maintained, and using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. The mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite primarily during the day, but they also bite at night in well-lit areas.