The South Dakota Department of Health says the state has its first Zika virus infection.
The virus was identified in a woman who traveled to a country where Zika virus is currently transmitted and later developed symptoms. The infection was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Zika is a tropical mosquito-borne infection, and the virus is not known to be carried by the mosquitoes found in South Dakota.
For most healthy adults, the infection is mild and only one in five people who are infected will become ill. Symptoms typically occur two to seven days after a bite and include fever, muscle or eye pain and a rash. But pregnant women who are infected run the risk of delivering babies born with the birth defect microcephaly. Babies with the defect have heads smaller than expected and often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
Pregnant women should avoid traveling to countries with active transmission of Zika, including Florida’s Miami-Dade County. Men who live in or have visited Zika transmission areas should abstain from unprotected sex.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger says travelers to Zika-affected areas, particularly pregnant women, should follow strict mosquito control precautions. They include wearing wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, using an EPA-registered insect repellent and ensuring that windows and doors have intact screens.
For more information on the virus and the latest travel advisories check the CDC’s Zika site.