Orange County Resident Tests Positive for Zika Virus
The Orange County Department of Health announced on Tuesday that an Orange County resident who recently traveled to South America has tested positive for the Zika virus.
Hudson Valley residents shouldn't be too worried though, as Dr. Eli Avila, who is Orange County’s commissioner of health, assured everyone that there is virtually no risk of acquiring Zika virus in the Hudson Valley or in New York state. The virus has been found to be locally transmitted in parts of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Cape Verde Islands, and Samoa, since the current outbreak began in May 2015.
Officalls from the Orange County Department of Health have confirmed to Hudson Valley Post the Orange County resident acquired the virus while abroad in South America.
“There is virtually no risk of acquiring Zika virus in this region or even in the state,” said Dr. Eli Avila, Orange County’s Commissioner of Health. “The Department is passing along the CDC recommendation that people check the CDC website with travel advisories to areas where the Zika virus is found and take those precautionary measures.”
Two weeks ago the CDC advised women who are pregnant to avoid traveling to 14 countries in Latin American and the Caribbean, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and Haiti.
According to CNN, Zika virus is a flavivirus, part of the same family as the viruses that cause yellow fever, and West Nile. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent it or medicine to treat the infection.
According to the CDC, Zika virus is acquired through a bite from an infected Aedes mosquito and cannot be spread by casual person-to-person contact. The CDC did say however, that there have been documented cases of virus transmission during labor, blood transfusion, and sexual contact.
Symptoms are usually mild. Doctors say that eighty percent of those infected never know they have the disease.
However, Zika is gaining attention across the world because of a connection between the virus and microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in babies being born with abnormally small heads. This causes severe developmental issues and sometimes death.