NORRISTOWN, PA — The first case of the Zika virus has struck Montgomery County.
A 55-year-old woman tested positive for the virus after traveling outside of the United States to a country where the Zika virus has been found, the Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) said.
She marks the sixth confirmed case of Zika in Pennsylvania, according to the state Department of Health.
“The Zika virus is generally a mild virus that lasts less than a week,” Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who is also a physician and is Interim Medical Director of the Montgomery County Health Department, said in a press release. “The CDC, the state health department, and our county health department are fully prepared for cases of Zika virus.”
Arkoosh added that the disease cannot be transmitted through casual contact and that the most important prevention method is mosquito bite prevention.
Zika virus is a generally mild illness that is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, MCHD said.
CDC ZIKA UPDATECommon symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), lasting from several days to one week.
The current Zika virus outbreak began in May 2015 in Brazil, leading to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
The first case of Zika virus disease contracted in the U.S. occurred in Texas, and involved an individual who had sexual contact with someone who acquired the Zika infection while traveling abroad.
Other confirmed cases of the illness in the U.S. have occurred in individuals who had traveled
to areas affected by the Zika outbreak.