First Case of Zika Virus Confirmed in Boston
BPHC urges Boston travelers to take precautions
BOSTON – Thursday, January 28, 2016 – The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today announced that one case of Zika virus has been confirmed. The patient, a Boston resident, contracted the virus when traveling in a country where transmission is ongoing. The patient is expected to make a full recovery.
Zika virus is a germ that is spread to people through mosquito bites. Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and the Pacific Islands, and it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. Though Zika virus is not currently found in the United States, cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers. The CDC is currently advising pregnant women to avoid travel to countries where the Zika virus is circulating. For the most up-to-date information about where Zika virus is found, visit: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
"The species of mosquito that transmits Zika is rarely found in Boston," said Dr. Anita Barry, Director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Public Health Commission. "However, we encourage those traveling to countries with a high risk for Zika transmission – especially those who are pregnant or may become pregnant – to take the utmost care to avoid contracting the virus."
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued an advisory regarding the Zika virus. The advisory outlines basic information about the outbreak of Zika virus in Central and South America, the concerns around Zika virus infection in pregnant women, and recommendations based on the CDC's current guidelines. The advisory is available at: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/laboratory-sciences/dph-zika-advisory-1-21-2016.pdf.
For more information on Zika virus, including how you can prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites, BPHC has fact sheets available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. We also have resources available for women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant and who plan to travel to an area where the Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
Healthcare providers and institutions in Boston should report any suspected Zika cases to BPHC at 617-534-5611.