A Putnam County resident has been confirmed positive for Zika virus and a second additional case is being tested. The Putnam County Department of Health said in a press release that both residents had recently travelled out of the country. There are 16 confirmed infections in New York State.
Symptoms of Zika virus are usually mild, however the Health Department says all pregnant women—with or without symptoms—who have travelled to a Zika-affected region should be tested. Testing is currently not available through commercial laboratories. Residents who have travelled to an area with Zika infection should contact their personal healthcare provider who will work with the Putnam County Department of Health to facilitate the proper testing procedure.
Zika virus, which is spread by infected mosquitos, has been appearing around the continental United States, mostly in travelers who have visited a Zika-affected area. One lone case in Texas is being investigated in a sexual partner of a traveler from one of the affected areas. Prior to 2015, outbreaks of the virus had occurred only in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Last May the first confirmed cases were reported in Brazil.
The situation regarding Zika virus has been changing as new information develops. The Centers for Disease Control have set up a dedicated website at cdc.gov/zika and the New York State Department of Health has established a Zika Information Line: 1-888-364-4723.