The Louisiana Department of Health has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that two Louisiana residents who recently traveled to the Caribbean and South America were found to have had the Zika virus. Both individuals no longer have symptoms, and the Zika virus was confirmed after the individuals had recovered and no longer had the virus in their bloodstream.

According to the CDC, there have been no identified cases of local, mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus in the continental United States. LDH continues to work closely with the CDC, health care professionals and mosquito abatement programs throughout the state to prevent the spread of Zika virus. 

Health officials say Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus and then spread the virus to other people through bites. This transmission from human to mosquito to human can only occur during the period that the viral infection is in the first person's blood, which can last from a few days to about a week from their own initial infection.

Both of these most recent cases in Louisiana are outside of this one-week window.

Avoiding Infection by Zika Virus

Zika virus is of greatest threat to pregnant women, as their child may be at risk for certain birth defects as a result of infection. Pregnant women in particular should therefore avoid travel to areas of active transmission.

All travelers to areas where Zika virus is active should be aware and take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites (wear long sleeves and pants, use EPA-approved insect repellant, etc.).

The same precautions apply at home, and people should also make sure their house is mosquito-proof by ensuring their windows and doors have intact screens and that there is no standing water around their home, especially in small containers. The CDC is also recommending that residents should check with their neighbors about standing water in their yards and neighborhoods.

For more information about preventing Zika virus, see this site:

Zika-carrying Mosquito Activity Maps

As part of its ongoing work to provide timely information to the public regarding the Zika virus, the CDC has updated and released new maps of the United States that show the approximate and potential locations of the two species of mosquitoes that are associated with Zika virus transmission.

The updated maps reflect the latest data that have been collected by CDC and its state and local partners and show where these mosquitoes are now or have been previously found within the continental United States.

These maps do not show the numbers or density of mosquitoes within each area, and they don't indicate the risk of potential disease spread or risk of infection. However, the updated information can help the American people and health care providers assess potential health risks and take appropriate precautions. The maps and other resources are available on the CDC website at the locations listed below.


The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents.To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.