Utah sees first confirmed case of Zika virus – Salt Lake Tribune

8 months ago Comments Off on Utah sees first confirmed case of Zika virus – Salt Lake Tribune

“We’re mostly just making people aware that there’s not a high risk [for Utahns], but we’re focusing on pregnant women who travel overseas,” Peterson said.

Peterson said that since December, the state has sent “many” possible cases to the CDC, but this is the first positive result. The CDC tests take two to three weeks.

The World Health Organization determined that the epidemic is a global emergency several weeks ago, given a spate of birth defects and a neurological illness in affected countries.

As of Feb. 24, the CDC reported 107 travel-associated Zika virus cases in the U.S.

The WHO has said that the Zika virus is likely to spread everywhere in the Americas except for Canada and Chile.

Physician Gregory Schwitzer, assistant executive director in the missionary department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a release last month that the church had “reemphasized” its instructions on avoiding mosquito-borne viruses.

A man can transmit the Zika virus to sexual partners before, during or after he shows symptoms, according to the CDC.

The Associated Press reported that research published Monday in the journal Lancet might be evidence that the Zika virus is linked with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis, muscle weakness, breathing problems and, in about 5 percent of cases, death.

But the state’s biggest concern is its effect on unborn children, Peterson said. The virus is also thought to be linked to the large number of babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in Brazil.

Peterson urged pregnant women to avoid traveling to affected areas, and for men who have recently traveled to affected areas to use protection during intercourse, or to abstain from intercourse.

Click here for a list of affected countries.

Pregnant women with questions about Zika virus can call a dedicated hotline at 1-800-822-2229, text 855-999-3525 or visit www.MotherToBaby.org.

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart introduced a bill last month that would combat the Zika virus with money allocated to fight Ebola virus. Stewart said in a statement that $1.4 billion of $2.4 billion earmarked for Ebola was unused as of September 2015.







Utah sees first confirmed case of Zika virus – Salt Lake Tribune