First travel associated case of Zika virus confirmed in Shawnee County

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) confirmed on Thursday from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) of the first adult in the country to test positive for the Zika virus.

The individual has a travel history to a country with local Zika virus transmission and was tested per guidance from CDC and KDHE. In order to protect the privacy of the individual SCHD will not release anymore details on the case.

SCHD says the risk of contracting Zika in Shawnee County remains extremely low unless an individual travels to an area where Zika transmission is taking place.

  • Mosquitoes can transmit other diseases in addition to Zika, and it is a good idea for everyone to take the following steps to help prevent mosquito bites:
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home. Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, gutters and downspouts, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

SCHD and CDC also recommend pregnant women not travel to areas with Zika. Pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester and there have been increased cases of microcephaly associated with Zika virus infections. Pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area with Zika virus should talk to a health care provider even if they don’t feel sick.

SCHD tells KSNT News they will continue to monitor the situation and is following guidelines put out by KDHE and CDC.

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