Share this story...
Latest News

First case of Zika virus confirmed in Pima County

FILE - In this May 23, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito sits inside a glass tube at the Fiocruz institute where they have been screening for mosquitos naturally infected with the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

PHOENIX — The first case of Zika virus in Pima County has been confirmed, officials said in a Friday press release.

Officials at both the Pima County Health Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed the case in a person who recently traveled outside of the United States to some Zika hot zones, including the Caribbean.

“This person did not become infected while here in Pima County,” Pima County Health Department Director Francisco Garcia said in the release. “As soon as we knew this person was at risk for Zika, we took the necessary steps to inform the individual on how to prevent mosquito bites.”

The person is no longer at risk of transmitting the disease and no other cases have been reported.

“While travel-related cases like this one are reminders that we should take steps to protect ourselves at home and during travel, the risk of having a person become infected with Zika virus while here in Pima County remains low,” Garcia said.

The Pima County case is the sixth to be confirmed in Arizona. Five cases have been confirmed in Maricopa County.

The first case in Arizona was verified in March. An older woman was infected while she was in one of the affected areas outside the the U.S.

The Zika virus causes at worst a mild and brief illness in most people.

But the virus poses a threat to pregnant women. In the past year, the virus has been associated with devastating birth defects mainly in Brazil.

The virus causes microcephaly and brain abnormalities in developing babies. In some cases it has caused miscarriages.

Symptoms include fever, rash and conjunctivitis.

Maricopa County has begun testing mosquitoes for the virus in addition to testing for West Nile virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Links