FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A second Kentucky resident has tested positive for the Zika virus after traveling in a Caribbean country where the virus is circulating, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH.) Test results were reported to DPH today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been tracking cases across the United States.
The male patient, who experienced Zika-related symptoms while traveling in recent months, lives in Western Kentucky and has fully recovered from the illness. Public health officials say the announcement of the second Zika case in a Kentucky resident underscores the importance of taking preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites if traveling in areas where Zika is circulating.
“DPH continues to strongly advise anyone – especially pregnant women and children – planning to travel to countries where Zika virus is circulating to take steps to protect themselves,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, senior deputy commissioner for DPH. “This includes being knowledgeable about where the virus is spreading, consulting with a healthcare provider, and, most importantly, following public health’s recommendations to avoid mosquito bites.”
Zika is not known to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky – or any other part of the United States.
The virus is not now known to be circulating in the mosquito population in Kentucky. Zika has been increasing in recognition in Brazil, Mexico and most recently in Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the US Virgin Islands. For these reasons, DPH advises that Kentucky travelers follow the advice of the CDC, which continues to advise travelers to protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites when traveling to affected countries, such as areas in South and Central America and the Caribbean. More information about Zika can be obtained from the DPH Health Alerts website at: http://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/Zika.aspx. For a full list of affected countries and regions visit:http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html. Localized areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing can be difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.
Travelers to these areas are specifically advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and to use approved insect repellents. CDC has additional information online on how travelers can protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html.
Kentuckians planning international travel are particularly encouraged to consult the CDC’s Travelers’ Health Website, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/, for country-specific health information for travelers. A weblink about Zika Travel Information, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information, is found on that site.