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Clay County confirms first Zika virus case

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RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 02: Aedes aegypti mosquitos are seen in a lab at the Fiocruz Institute on June 2, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. Microcephaly is a birth defect linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus where infants are born with abnormally small heads. The Brazilian city of Recife and surrounding Pernambuco state remain the epicenter of the Zika virus outbreak, which has now spread to many countries in the Americas. A group of health experts recently called for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to be postponed or cancelled due to the Zika threat but the WHO (World Health Organization) rejected the proposal. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Clay County Public Health Center confirmed in a news release on Thursday that a male resident of Clay County tested positive for the Zika virus and is the first case of Zika in Clay County

The resident had recently traveled to an area outside of the United States that is experiencing a Zika outbreak.

The news release continued with the following information:

Many areas in the U.S. have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika. However, as of Aug. 11, 2016, there have been no reported cases of Zika contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri and there is only one neighborhood located in Miami where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes in the U.S.

Most people infected with Zika won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms or symptoms will be mild. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.

Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus species mosquito. Pregnant women can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Zika can also be spread via sexual transmission. Anyone concerned about getting Zika from sex should abstain or use condoms correctly.

The best way to prevent Zika illness is to avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include countries ranging from Mexico to the Caribbean, and both Central America and South America. Other steps to prevent mosquito bites here at home that you can do right now include:

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw away any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers or trash containers.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Follow label directions and use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents when you need to be outdoors.