The Department of Public Health is asking healthcare providers throughout the state to report any suspected cases of Zika virus infection.
There are currently no cases of the Zika virus, which is a mosquito-borne disease, in Connecticut, according to DPH officials.
The first reported case of Zika virus was in Brazil in May 2015 with the most recent case in Puerto Rico in December 2015. However, DPH officials said there was no reported cases of Zika virus in the United States.
“The mosquito species that is primarily responsible for transmission of Zika virus to people is not found in Connecticut. Closely related species are present in very low numbers and are unlikely to present a risk of Zika virus infection to people," Dr. Phil Armstrong, who is medical entomologist with the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said in a statement on Friday.
Armstrong said "if the virus spreads to the United States mainland it will most likely be identified first in Florida or the gulf states."
DPH officials said there were cases of the Zika virus in returning travelers.
"Travelers returning from areas with Zika activity should seek medical care if they experience a fever and symptoms of infection," DPH Acting Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said in a statement on Friday.
DPH officials said the Zika virus “is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.” The illness may cause subsequent birth defects for pregnant women.
“All people, especially pregnant women, who are traveling to areas where Zika virus is found, should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites to reduce their risk of infection of Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya,” Pino said.
DPH officials advised when traveling to countries with Zika virus, travelers should "use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens."
For more information on Zika virus, click here.
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