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CDC: 116 Travel-Associated Zika Cases in U.S. So Far This Year

Nearly all had a probable link to travel to a Zika-endemic area outside the United States, agency says

FRIDAY, March 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) — During the first two months of this year, 116 U.S. residents have tested positive for infection with the Zika virus, and all but one were linked to travel to regions endemic for the virus. The findings were reported in the March 18 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Experts there say that of the 116 cases confirmed between Jan. 1 and Feb. 26, 110 involved travel by the patient to a Zika-endemic area, while five involved sexual contact with a person who had recently traveled to such areas. The remaining case of infection occurred when a mother passed the virus to her child in pregnancy. No details were given on that case.

According to the CDC, among the 115 U.S. patients with travel-associated infection, all patients reported clinical illness. In the majority of cases, symptoms included rash (97 percent of cases), fever, and joint pain.

“Zika virus disease should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever, rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis who traveled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission or who had unprotected sex with someone who traveled to one of those areas and developed compatible symptoms within two weeks of returning,” write the authors of the report.

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