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Four more people in Missouri contract Zika virus during travel

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed four additional cases of Zika virus in Missouri, including one male and three non-pregnant females. All four had been to areas where Zika virus is being transmitted locally, specifically Nicaragua, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 16.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America. International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/

Information from news release from the Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services