Confirmed Case of Zika Virus in Monroe County

Confirmed Case of Zika Virus in Monroe County

Overview

By TWC News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The New York State Health Department has confirmed a case of the Zika virus in Monroe County. So far, five individuals in New York have tested positive for the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, the mosquito-borne disease is now in two dozen countries and territories.

The health department says the person in Monroe County who contracted the virus was not pregnant and had recently traveled to the Carribbean. The Zika virus is of highest concern to pregnant women and their babies.

Doctors at University of Rochester Medical Center answered questions Thursday about the virus. While on alert, doctors say the type of mosquitoes that transmit it don’t live in Western New York, so there isn’t a large worry about it in this region at this time. It’s a concern for those who are traveling to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and to parts of North America.

Right now, there are no vaccines to prevent the virus, nor are there medications to treat those who have it. It’s important to note the limitations of how the virus can spread.

“There is no real person-to-person transmission,” said Dr. John Treanor, chief of infectious diseases at URMedicine at Strong Memorial Hospital. “There is a single case report from several years ago of potential sexual transmission from a husband to a wife, but that’s never been verified in any other case.

“There was one reported case of transfusion-related transmission, but basically, this is a disease that’s transmitted through mosquitoes.”

Doctors said the threat of the mosquito-borne virus is minimal during winter months.

Doctors also said only about 1 in 5 people who are infected with the virus see symptoms. Those symptoms include a fever, muscle and joint pain, rashes, and irritation of the eyes. They say the symptoms are quite mild and usually go away on their own in five to seven days.