The Zika virus has officially reached northeastern Nebraska, according to a press release by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
The two cases of travel-related Zika virus were recently reported to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services bringing the total in Nebraska to six. Both were men 40 to 55-years-old from northeastern Nebraska. They had recently traveled to a Zika-affected country. Neither one was hospitalized.
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of a mosquito. Although the virus usually causes mild illness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have also been reports of birth defects and other severe health consequences.
State health officials expect to see more travel-related cases of Zika virus in Nebraska and DHHS will be updating state-specific case information frequently at www.dhhs.ne.gov/zika. If people are traveling to an area with Zika, it’s important to prevent mosquito bites both abroad and when they come back home. Preventive tips include:
• Using an EPA-registered insect repellent properly
• Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
• Staying in places with air conditioning or that have screens on doors and windows
The CDC recommends that pregnant women in any trimester avoid travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. The latest travel health notices and information -http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information. CDC’s Zika virus webpage is also a comprehensive resource and is available at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.