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Zika Cases Down Across The U.S., But Summer's Just Begun
As we enter the height of mosquito season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting cases of locally transmitted Zika virus are down. Two states where they first occurred last year, Texas and Florida, have no new cases.
In Arizona, the state Health Department’s Jessica Rigler said vector control has never caught a mosquito carrying the blood-borne Zika disease. However, she said that does not mean we’re Zika-free.
“In 2016 we had four people who had tested positive for Zika by the end of May,” she said, emphasizing “people,” not “mosquitoes.”
This year, she said, “Only one person we have in Arizona has tested positive for Zika by the end of May.”
In all of those cases, she said the patients likely contracted the virus while visiting infected regions around the world.
As summer travel picks up, health departments warn the virus is still at epidemic levels due south of Arizona and other popular destinations.
“In the Southern hemisphere, in South and Central America, as well as Puerto Rico,” Rigler warned, “there are countries in Asia that have also reported local spread of Zika.”
She recommended a visit to the Centers for Disease Control’s website to see if a country has reported mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus and tips to take into consideration prior to a journey there.