Confirmed Zika Case In Rhode Island
The first confirmed case of Zika has been confirmed in Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Tuesday that a man in his 60's has tested positive for the disease.
Officials say the unidentified man had recently travelled to Haiti where there is active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika.
"We have been closely monitoring the Zika situation internationally and have been coordinating with Rhode Island healthcare providers for months. We were fully prepared for this first case," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.
While they are initiating a series of protocols, Dr. Alexander-Scott says the risk to the public is low.
"We don't expect locally-acquired cases here because the species of mosquitos that are currently known to transmit Zika are not found in Rhode Island," said Dr. Alexander-Scott. "However, Rhode Islanders who are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to countries where there is active transmission of the virus."
Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye).
Officials say woman who are pregnant or may become pregnant and have potential for exposure to Zika (from either a mosquito or a sexual partner) should seek counseling from their healthcare providers.