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The state’s first two travel-related cases of Zika virus infection for 2017 have been confirmed in Mississippians returning from an area north of Venezuela. Zika virus poses a risk of dangerous or fatal birth defects for pregnant women who become infected, and Zika is being actively transmitted in most of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Zika is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes, and can also be transmitted sexually, even when symptoms are not present. Zika infection usually has no symptoms, but can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Travelers to Zika-affected areas should take precautions against mosquitoes. Pregnant women should avoid travel to these areas, and take protective measures against sexual transmission during their trip and when they return.
For a list of areas where Zika is being actively transmitted, and precautions for travelers, visit HealthyMS.com/zika.