The Louisiana Department of Health's Public Health Laboratory has confirmed two more cases of Zika virus. The patients had travelled to a region with ongoing Zika transmission and sought medical care in Louisiana after, where tests confirmed the viral infection.
These are the fifth and sixth cases of travel-associated Zika confirmed in Louisiana. There have been no confirmed cases of local transmission within Louisiana or in the rest of the 50 states.
After separately travelling to areas with ongoing Zika transmission, the patients returned to Louisiana and began to show symptoms of an illness, prompting the individuals to seek treatment. The patients and their health care providers have been notified of the Zika-positive result. The individuals have recovered and no longer have the virus in their blood.
The Department of Health has reported these cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and they will soon be included in the CDC's Zika case count for Louisiana. National and state case counts can be found at www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html.
Avoiding Infection by Zika Virus:
Zika virus is of greatest threat to pregnant women, as their child may be at risk for certain severe birth defects as a result of infection. Pregnant women, women who could be pregnant, and the male sexual partners of pregnant women or those seeking to have a child in particular should therefore avoid travel to areas of active transmission.
As Zika can also be transmitted through sexual activity with an infected male partner, pregnant women and women who could be pregnant should be sure to use a condom when having sex with a male partner who may be infected with Zika.
All travelers to areas where Zika virus is active should be aware and take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g., 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.
For more information about preventing Zika virus, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov/zika.
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 www.dhh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.