First Zika Virus Case Confirmed in Chester County, Woman Recently Traveled to Dominican Republic

By Katherine Pine, Parent Herald June 22, 10:08 pm

A woman who recently travelled to Dominican Republic has contracted the Zika virus making it the first confirmed case in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first case noting that Dominican Republic is an area where the Aedes mosquitos are present. These mosquitos carry the Zika virus.

Philadelphia Magazine also reported that the woman is not pregnant and was not hospitalized when she had the virus. She has, however, recovered. The identity of the woman has not been released by health officials.

The Chester County Health Department then released a statement regarding the matter. They notified the residents about the case. An alert was issued to all county health care providers reminding them of the importance of following the testing and risk reduction guidance issued in the past.

The Chester County Health Department also urged pregnant women to not visit Zika-affected countries and areas. Residents should also use insect repellant, have window screens installed, and remove standing water from both inside and outside of homes.

Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Casner also reminded the citizens about the chances of contracting Zika virus in Chester County is minimal. The virus is transmitted via the bit of an infected Aedes mosquito. These mosquitos are found in areas with warmer climates and it poses a larger risk to women who are pregnant as it could result in Zika-linked microcephaly and other complications related to birth defects.

As of current, 23 cases of travel-related Zika virus cases have been recorded in Pennsylvania. The Health Department in the state assured that there have been no confirmed cases of locally-acquired Zika virus. Also, no cases have been contracted in the state itself.

Zika virus could also be transmitted through the transfer of bodily fluids and through sexual intercourse but the most common transmission is still through the bite of an infected mosquito.

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