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First case of the Zika virus in South Dakota confirmed

South Dakota has confirmed its first case of the Zika virus, after a woman returning from a foreign country developed symptoms.

The South Dakota Department of Health made the announcement Monday morning, with the infection having been confirmed by the CDC.

It was one of only two states not to have had any confirmed infections of the mosquito-transmitted disease, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can lead to their child being born with microcephaly.

With more than 2,200 cases reported nationwide, Wyoming is the only state that Zika has not reached.

The Argus Leader reports the woman, who is not pregnant, contracted the infection in mid-July, after traveling to the Caribbean.

“This is a good reminder for anyone who travels to Zika-affected areas that it’s important to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, epidemiologist for the South Dakota health department. “Zika is a tropical mosquito-borne infection. The virus is not known to be carried by the mosquitoes found in South Dakota.”

Zika in Minnesota

In May, two pregnant women in Minnesota were confirmed to have contracted the Zika virus, one having visited El Salvador and the other getting a sexually-transmitted infection from her husband after he visited Haiti, MPR reports.

Although it can be passed from human to human, Zika is mostly passed on via mosquitoes, and the only place in the United States where Zika-infected mosquitoes have been found is in Miami-Dade County in Florida.

It’s unlikely that Zika-carrying mosquitoes will come to Minnesota, as the climate is too cold for them to survive long-term.

The South Dakota health department says men who live in, or who have visited, Zika transmission areas are advised to abstain from unprotected sex. Those who become ill within two weeks of visiting an affected area should see their doctor.

Pregnant women who travel to Zika transmission areas should be tested 2-12 weeks after their return, whether they are sick or not. While in the infected area they are advised to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, as well as use an EPA-registered insect repellent.

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