A woman from Minnesota has contracted the Zika virus


Health officials have confirmed a Minnesota woman has contracted the Zika virus following a trip to Central America.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed a woman in her 60s from Anoka County was infected with the virus after spending time in Honduras.

Symptoms began presenting on Jan. 1. She has not been hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery.


According to an MDH release, it's the first case of the Zika virus confirmed in Minnesota following the current outbreak affecting Mexico, Central American, South American, African and Caribbean countries.

The last time Minnesota had a case was in 2014, when a man contracted it following a visit to French Polynesia.

The health department said there is "not a risk" of the virus spreading.

The infection is transmitted by mosquitoes, but Minnesota's climate is too cold for the species known to carry it, with the only way it's likely to enter the state being through travelers bitten when visiting infected countries.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Most others typically have mild symptoms, such as fever, joint soreness, rash or red eyes.

Pregnant women are more at risk because of the potentially severe impact on their babies. In less than 1 percent of cases, it can lead to abnormally small heads in infants (microcephaly), miscarriage and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Here's some more background on the virus courtesy of BringMeTheNews.

"Since some regions where Zika is circulating are popular destinations for Minnesota travelers in the winter, we expected we might see cases of Zika in the state," said MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger.

MDH says those heading to infected nations should use mosquito repellents containing DEET or other ingredients including picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus, as well as staying in buildings with good doors and window screens, and considering postponing travel to affected areas if you're pregnant, or "could become pregnant."

Affected nations include: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.

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