Vermont Reports First Case of Zika Virus

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont health officials announced Friday the state’s first confirmed case of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that can cause birth defects.

The Vermonter, who has not been identified, recently traveled to a ‘Zika affected area before developing systems,’ according to health officials. Health officials declined to say where the person lives.

"Based on what we know now, the mosquitoes that are in Vermont are not likely to transmit Zika virus," said Patsy Kelso, PhD, state epidemiologist for infectious disease. "We've been expecting to see travel-related cases of Zika, and expect there will be more. We are advising Vermonters who are planning to travel to check to see if their destination is a Zika-affected area, and to take all precautions against mosquito bites. We advise women who are pregnant or could become pregnant to not travel to these areas."

Earlier this week federal health officials said there was enough evidence to conclude that Zika causes the birth defect microcephaly, which is characterized by an underdeveloped head and brain.

The virus has exploded through Latin America and the Caribbean in recent months. Over 350 cases have been reported in the United States, all linked to travel to Zika outbreak regions.

The disease usually results in mild symptoms including fever, rash and fatigue.

For more about Zika, click here.

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